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Ontario high school teachers hit picket lines for third job action

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2019

TORONTO — Public high school teachers in Ontario will hit the picket lines today for their third job action in as many weeks.

Educators represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will hold another one-day strike in a bid to ramp up pressure during contract talks with the government.

The strike will affect 10 boards across the province, closing high schools in areas including Thunder Bay and Waterloo.

The union says it is pressing the government to reverse increases to class size and mandatory e-learning requirements.

“Since our last bargaining date on Tuesday, December 3, we have seen no change in the Minister of Education’s agenda of increasing class sizes, forcing e-learning on our high school students, and continuing the funding cuts that take valuable support staff and services out of our schools,” OSSTF/FEESO president Harvey Bischof said in a release.

The government says the main issue is compensation, as the province attempts to cap public sector salary increases at one per cent. The union is asking for increases of approximately two per cent.

A government-appointed mediator has called off talks between the parties until the new year, saying their proposals remain too far apart.

The following boards will be taking part in Wednesday’s job action:

  • Lakehead District School Board
  • Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  • Lambton Kent District School Board
  • Thames Valley District School Board
  • Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • Halton District School Board
  • Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

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