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Ontario elementary public teachers vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action

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Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have voted overwhelmingly in help of a doable strike.

Union members voted 98 per cent in favour of job action amid rising tensions between teachers’ unions and the province.

ETFO president Sam Hammond known as it a “solid, overwhelming strike vote” for Canada’s largest teachers’ union.

Teachers have voiced issues round points together with class sizes, a scarcity of front-line help and violence in lecture rooms.

Hammond mentioned these issues have “fallen on deaf ears” throughout negotiations with the Ford authorities.

ETFO, which represents 83,000 public elementary teachers, occasional teachers and academic professionals, carried out the votes in September and October.

The union is presently not in a strike place, as talks are ongoing. Contracts with a quantity of schooling sector unions expired Aug. 31 and negotiations are at numerous levels.

In the case of the public elementary faculty teachers, conferences with a conciliator are scheduled to start on Monday.

Union ‘is not going to think about funding cuts’

Over the previous two months, ETFO has additionally been holding mass conferences with members to debate central bargaining points. In mid-October, the union filed for conciliation after negotiations at its central bargaining tables had stalled.

ETFO and different main schooling unions have been vital of the federal government’s total route because it took energy in June 2018, together with latest strikes to extend class sizes for Grade four and better, mandate e-learning programs and cut back per-student funding to boards.

“ETFO will not consider funding cuts for elementary programs in this system,” Hammond mentioned at a Friday information convention. 

“If anything, and we have said it before, funding to elementary classrooms and schools, the elementary program in this province, needs to be and must be enhanced.”

‘I help a deal, not a strike,’ mentioned Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce after studying concerning the vote outcomes. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Education Minister Stephen Lecce disputed the union’s characterization of the talks, and mentioned the province has been “reasonable and constructive” throughout bargaining.

“ETFO has taken another escalating step toward a strike, which will disproportionately hurt our kids,” he mentioned in a information assertion issued after the vote outcomes.

“Our team remains unequivocal in our determination to land deals with our labour partners as soon as possible to keep our kids in the classroom​​​​​​,” Lecce mentioned.

ETFO mentioned extra help for college kids with particular wants, lowering class measurement on the elementary stage, helps to deal with the rising downside of classroom violence, and job safety, had been amongst its bargaining priorities.

Protection of Ontario’s internationally acknowledged kindergarten program and the preservation of truthful and clear hiring practices can even determine prominently on the union’s agenda for the negotiations with the province and college boards.

High faculty teachers and teachers in the English Catholic system are additionally holding strike votes, with outcomes anticipated in the following couple of weeks.

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