NORTH DURHAM: It’s possible that striking Durham high school teachers won’t be the only ones on taking job action next week, with Ontario elementary school teachers poised to launch some form of strike action on Monday, May 11.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents approximately 76,000 teachers issued a press release on Tuesday, May 5, saying that workers "will be taking provincewide strike action as of Monday."
The job action by the elementary school teachers would affect more than 800,000 students across the province.
Local elementary school teachers are not expected to walk off the job and onto the picket lines like their high school counterparts, despite the union being in a legal strike position. But, are expected to take some form of strike action, which could eventually lead to a full-scale strike.
However, the union is still considering its options when it comes to what a strike from the province’s public elementary school teachers could look like.
"We are not going to comment on strike action details publicly until we've had an opportunity to communicate with all our members this week," ETFO president Sam Hammond said in the press release.
This past Monday, high school teachers in Peel Region became the latest to take strike action, joining teachers in Durham and Rainbow (Sudbury). Durham’s public high school teachers have been on strike for the past three weeks, after labour talks between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) and the Durham District School Board (DDSB) broke down.
In an update released on Monday, May 4, the DDSB stated that while no timeline has been established for talks with the union to resume, they are hopeful that discussions can continue.
The Durham District School Board remains ready to negotiate and has been ever since the teachers’ union chose to leave the table on April 18, 2015 and began a strike forcing the closure of all DDSB secondary schools,” read the statement from the local school board.