High school teachers will be in class for first day of school, union leader says

The head of Ontario’s high school teachers’ union says his members will be in the classroom on the first day of school, despite not having a new contract by then.

However, Harvey Bischof says he’s not optimistic about this round of bargaining.

Contracts expire on Aug. 31, but the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation is going to the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Aug. 22 to determine what issues should be bargained centrally, and what should be deal with at local tables.

Bischof says he doesn’t expect substantive talks to get underway until mid-to-late September, and would not speculate about possible future job action.

In a speech to the union’s leadership conference today, Bischof rallied members in what he calls a “fight” for public education.

He says that the school year will start with fewer teachers due to the provincial government increasing class sizes, which will mean fewer course offerings and extracurricular activities for students.

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