The latest announcement that French-language teachers in the province will be engaging in a work-to-rule campaign on Jan. 16, marks the first time in two decades that all four major teachers’ unions have been involved in some form of striking action at the same time.
Along with French teachers, the unions representing English-Catholic, high school, and elementary teachers have made plans to continue engaging in scaling back administrative work in some cases or committing to further hold province-wide walks-outs in others.
Early next week, elementary schools throughout Toronto will be closing their doors again for another one-day walk-out on Monday.
That protest will be followed by another high school teacher walk-out on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The teachers’ unions have repeatedly said that the Ontario government’s imposed increase in class sizes, an increased focus on mandatory online classes for students and other cuts in education, are the reasons why negotiations haven’t made any progress towards signing a deal.
Imposed increases to class size averages, deep cuts to staff who provide supports to students, & secret plans to privatize e-Learning. Difficult to understand how @fordnation & @Sflecce think these changes will improve the quality of education for students. #OSSTF #onted #onpoli https://t.co/MvJ5A1swPt— Harvey Bischof (@HarveyBischof) January 16, 2020
On the other end, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce continues to call on the teachers’ unions to de-escalate continued job action.
“Students across the province are being hurt by union-led escalation. The continued and escalating disruption to learning and educational support is detrimental to the student experience and causes frustration and uncertainty for parents,” Lecce said.
“Parents and students have seen this type of job action every few years for decades. That is why we are calling on the teachers’ unions to cease escalation, stop playing with students’ futures, and focus on reaching a deal that keeps our students in the classroom where they belong.”
In the past two months, the provincial government has failed to find an agreement with the unions in regard to signing a new contract deal with public school teachers.
The continued disagreement between teachers and the Ontario government has continued to escalate with no end in sight.
Below is a timeline detailing the recent disagreement between the provincial government and the Ontario teachers’ unions.