Feb 11, 2020
By Jane Brown
All public elementary schools are closed across the province Tuesday as teachers walk off the job to put pressure on the Ford Progressive Conservatives during stalled contract talks.
Here in Toronto, public elementary students are off for three of the five days this week, since Wednesday their teachers are involved in a rotating strike and Friday is a P.A. Day.
As for members of the other major teachers federations, there is a rotating strike for public high school teachers in 9 districts, including Peel Region in the GTA, on Thursday.
French teachers are holding a province wide walkout on Thursday, and Catholic school teachers continue with an administrative work to rule campaign after a one day province wide strike last week.
OSSTF President Harvey Bischof joined Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back and was asked by Libby Znaimer, why no new talks are scheduled.
“We’re in the hands of the mediator. We have an expert and experienced mediator who is monitoring the situation. I guess when she thinks there’s a prospective for productive talks, she’ll invite us back to the table and we’ll certainly take that indication positively, but so far she hasn’t made that indication,” Bischof explained. Listen for Libby’s entire conversation with Harvey Bischof by clicking here.
In fact, contract talks for all of the major teachers unions are stalled.
Neither side in each of the contract talks is making a first move toward concessions. Reps for the teachers want all cuts rolled back and 2 percent annual increases. The Ford Tories insist they have made concessions on issues such as full day kindergarden, class sizes and e-learning but need teachers to accept 1 percent annual increases.