Update – Ontario Teachers Plan One Day Walkout January 21/2020 – Are You Impacted?

STRIKE ACTION - Image depositphotos.com
STRIKE ACTION - Image depositphotos.com

Ontario Offers Parents Financial Support During Teacher’s Action

TORONTO – The labour dispute between Ontario teachers and the Ontario government is ramping up. Teachers are planning more walkouts and increased work-to-rule action. The province of Ontario has countered with an offer to parents of funding for child care expenses during the labour dispute.

In Northwestern Ontario, the impact will be seen at Lakehead Board of Education elementary schools and the Rainy River District School Board, and schools in the Superior-Greenstone Board of Education.

On Tuesday, January 21, teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) in certain school boards will take part in another one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario.

OSSTF/FEESO members in other school boards across the province will continue to engage in activities that draw attention to the dangers of the Ford government’s education agenda.

A limited withdrawal of services, which began on November 26, 2019, will continue province-wide, and will be augmented by additional sanctions beginning Monday, January 20. Those additional sanctions are as follows:

  • Teacher and Occasional Teachers will no longer perform on-calls. Supervisions will remain in place as per normal in order to ensure student safety.
  • Members will not take on any additional work/responsibilities as a result of an absent member of the bargaining unit. This applies to both teachers and education workers. However, where students with special needs are reassigned between Educational Assistants in the event of an absence, that will be accepted as redistributed work. Again, we are considering the issue of student safety.
  • Members will not assume responsibility for verifying or finding replacements for the absence of other employees. Absent employees will still report their own absences as per normal procedures. This applies to members of all bargaining units.
  • Members will not perform the work of any other bargaining unit, including work or activities that are the subject of sanctions by another bargaining unit.

Up to $60 per day for Parents Offered by Ontario Government

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced the government’s plan to offer parents up to $60 per day if strike actions close schools or school-based child care centres.

“Our aim has always been to reach a negotiated settlement that keeps kids in class, which we have done successfully with multiple labour partners to date,” said Minister Lecce. “We recognize the impact of union escalation on families is real, and unions expect hard-working families to bear the costs of their cyclical labour action. While unions impose hardship on families and students, our government is taking proactive steps to ensure students remain cared for — and families supported — in the event that unions decide to further escalate job action in their fight for enhanced compensation and other demands. The contrast could not be clearer.”

A full withdrawal of services could require parents to make alternative arrangements. A strike could also impact the operation of full-day child care centres located in schools — forcing them to close as a direct result of escalating union job action.

To address these potential realities, the Ministry of Education launched its Support for Parents initiative to make sure that child care and other safe spaces are as accessible as possible for any family impacted by strikes. It will also provide support to parents who are facing increased costs.

Financial support will be provided to parents for each day of school that a child misses on account of a labour disruption, or each day of child care that is not available if offered from a closed school.

Eligible parents of children up to age 12 (Grade 7), or up to age 21 for children and youth with special needs, in a publicly funded school, qualify for:

  • $60 per day for children aged 0-6 who are not yet enrolled in school but attend a school-based child care centre that is required to close on account of the strike.
  • $40 per day for students in Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK).
  • $25 per day for students in Grades 1 up to and including Grade 7.
  • $40 total per day for students in JK up to and including Grade 12 with a special need(s).

Funding will also be retroactive for qualifying parents to cover costs already incurred due to labour disruptions that have occurred during the current 2019-20 labour negotiations.

More details about this financial support can be found by visiting Ontario.ca/SupportForParents or by calling the Support for Parents Helpline at 888-444-3770.

“Our government will continue to support parents and provide predictability during this period of union-caused uncertainty,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “We will always put families and children first.”

OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof announced that the walkout on January 21 will be the last full withdrawal of services by OSSTF/FEESO members until after the secondary school exam period.

“Throughout this dispute we have made every effort to ensure that our job actions create minimal disruption for students,” said Bischof. “With that objective in mind, OSSTF/FEESO members will not engage in any work disruptions through the crucial exam period.”

Bischof also reiterated the Federation’s standing offer to postpone pending job action if the government agrees to return to, and maintain, the class size ratios and staffing levels that were in place during the 2018–2019 school year.

“If the Minister of Education is truly focused, as he incessantly claims, on keeping kids in class, then he will accept our offer and come back to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith,” said Bischof. “But the evidence is mounting that this government’s priorities have nothing to do with the well-being of students. The Doug Ford secret plan for e-learning implementation, which came to light this week, reveals a government whose obsessions are exclusively fiscal.”

“It is clear to OSSTF/FEESO members that, for this Premier and this Minister of Education, questions about student learning and the quality of education are not even on the radar,” said Bischof. “If the government wants to prove us wrong about that, they will abandon their destructive agenda, return to the table, and work with us to reach a deal that is good for the province’s students.”

JANUARY 21 JOB ACTION FACT SHEET
Teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/
FEESO) in certain school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations
across Ontario on January 21, 2020. The locations affected will be as follows:

All OSSTF/FEESO members employed by the following school boards will be engaged in the full withdrawal of services:
• Rainy River District School Board
• Near North District School Board
• Grand Erie District School Board
• Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board
• Toronto District School Board
• Simcoe County District School Board
• Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
• Trillium Lakelands District School Board
• Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

Those members employed by the Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir at the following worksites will beengaged in the full withdrawal of services:
• École élémentaire catholique Saint-Noël-Chabanel (Toronto)
• École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-de-Lalande
• Garderie Mon Petit Jardin
• École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Marguerite-d’Youville
• Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, siège social (110 Drewry)
• École secondaire catholique Monseigneur-de-Charbonnel
• École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Madeleine
• École secondaire catholique Saint-Frère-André
• École élémentaire catholique du Sacré-Coeur (Toronto)
• Point de Service Nord Est
• École secondaire catholique Père-Philippe-Lamarche
• École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
• École élémentaire catholique Georges-Étienne-Cartier
• École élémentaire catholique du Bon-Berger
• École élémentaire catholique Frère-André
• École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame-de-la-Huronie
• École secondaire catholique Nouvelle-Alliance
• École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Croix
• École élémentaire catholique Saint-Louis
• École élémentaire catholique Samuel-de-Champlain
• École élémentaire catholique Marguerite-Bourgeois (Borden)
• École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys (Brantford)
• École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Marie (Simcoe)

Those members employed by the Conseil scolaire Viamonde at the following worksites will be engaged in the full withdrawal of services:
• École élémentaire La Pinède
• École secondaire Le Caron
• École publique Saint-Joseph
• École secondaire Roméo-Dallaire
• École élémentaire Chantal-Benoit
• École élémentaire La Source
• École élémentaire Laure-Rièse
• École élémentaire Jeanne-Lajoie
• Académie Alexandre-Dumas
• École élémentaire Micheline-Saint-Cyr
• École élémentaire Charles-Sauriol
• École élémentaire Mathieu-da-Costa
• École élémentaire Félix-Leclerc
• École secondaire Toronto-Ouest
• École élémentaire Gabrielle-Roy
• École secondaire Collège Français
• École élémentaire La Mosaïque
• École élémentaire Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau
• Siège social

Those members employed by the Conseil scolaire des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario at thefollowing worksites will be engaged in the full withdrawal of services:
• École secondaire publique Marc-Garneau (Trenton)
• École élémentaire publique Cité-Jeunesse (Trenton)

All members employed by the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est at the following worksite will be engaged in the full withdrawal of services:
• École élémentaire catholique L’Envol