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Elementary teachers’ union begins 2nd week of rotating strikes, says more on the way

The union representing Ontario’s elementary school teachers is set to hold another series of rotating strikes throughout the week.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says one-day job actions are planned at boards across the province starting today and extending through the rest of the week.

The second week of rotating strikes is the union’s latest effort to turn up the pressure on the provincial government, which is embroiled in tense contract talks with all four of Ontario’s major teacher unions.

The first round of strikes will close schools with the Simcoe, Waterloo and Keewatin-Patricia boards, with strikes at Kawartha Pine Ridge, Hastings-Prince Edward, Upper Grand, Moosenee and Moose Factory school boards following the next day.

Walkouts are set to take place at boards throughout northern Ontario and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas later in the week.

All of Ontario’s major teachers’ unions are now in various states of escalated job action, ranging from rotating strikes to work-to-rule campaigns.

ETFO says it will “escalate” its rotating strikes starting Monday, Feb. 3 if a new agreement is not reached by the end of January.

The expanded strike schedule includes a plan for all 83,000 ETFO members to walk off the job on Thursday, Feb. 6.

“Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come,” said union president Sam Hammond in a statement.

Teachers unions say talks with the province have broken down over issues such as class sizes, but the education minister has said compensation is the primary sticking point.

CBC

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