Elementary and high schools at the Near North Board were closed for the 2nd consecutive Wednesday.

Just like last Week, English public secondary teachers and educational workers with OSSTF held another one-day strike in an effort to get the government back to the bargaining table.

In a statement, MPP Vic Fedeli says they’re calling on the union to stop the escalation of job action, stay at the table and — quote ‘focus on improving learning in the classroom, not enhancing compensation for their members.”

But local OSSTF president Glen Hodgson says they’ve offered to split the financial issues from the class size and e learning issues in the talks if class sizes weren’t increased and e learning wasn’t mandatory.

“We offered to avoid the strike action as long as the government would agree to those commitments and the government said no,” he says.

Hodgson speaking at an information picket outside Chippewa Secondary on what the teachers are trying to accomplish.

“Our hope is after any political action like this is to negotiate a fair deal and that’s what we are looking for and committed to standing up for,” he says.

MPP Vic Fedeli issued the following statement:
“Union leadership has made clear they will strike again unless the government accepts their demand for a $1.5 billion increase in compensation, which includes pay and benefits. We value teachers and their commitment to our students. However, OSSTF teachers on average make over $92,000 per year and are the second highest paid in the nation.
Our aim is a fiscally sustainable education system. The Government has consistently been fair and reasonable, focused on keeping kids in class. However, repeated escalation at the expense of our students’ education, to advance higher compensation, higher wages, and even more generous benefits, is unacceptable for parents and students in our province.
We call on OSSTF to cease from escalation, stay at the table, and focus on improving learning in classroom, not enhancing compensation for their members.
Yesterday, our Government delivered another tentative agreement with education workers (EWAO) that keeps students in class. This is yet another example of our Government demonstrating reasonableness, and a focus on our students at the bargaining table. This tentative agreement, reached by all parties, delivers on the Government’s mandate to be reasonable, to focus on students, and to keep them in class where they belong.
As shown with EWAO, and CUPE earlier, the Government has remained a constructive force at the table working hard to ensure parents have the predictability they deserve. We will continue to negotiate in good faith with a sincere hope that the other education unions will match our reasonable offerings and make students the centre of our focus.”

Nipissing NDP riding association president Rob Boulet issued the following statement:
“We completely support OSSTF in labour actions that put quality public education for future generations first. Education workers want class sizes that support real learning and the elimination of the mandatory e-learning that will put so many students at risk, especially students with special needs and those who don’t have access to quality broadband.
While the Ford government has had no issue giving raises to its ministers, they have attacked the charter right to fair collective bargaining. Education workers have proposed a way forward that will keep students in the classroom while protecting public education and their rights at the same time. As a riding association, we urge Minister Stephen Lecce to accept these proposals and negotiate.”

(photo by station staff)

Filed under: mpp-vic-fedeli, osstf, strike