Thousands of elementary school teachers took strike action downtown

Feb 6 2020, 12:28 pm

Thousands of elementary school educators took to the streets of downtown Toronto on Thursday to participate in strike action.

Crowds of people donning signs and winter wear gathered at the Ministry of Education at 315 Front Street for what police described as a “peaceful” demonstration.

The Elementary Teachers of Toronto Twitter account shared images of the groups of people together on Front Street and, at one point, reported as many as 11,000 union members present.

The Province of Ontario and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario returned to the table on January 29 to work towards reaching a fair central agreement, and those conversations broke down late on January 31.

“The government is unwilling to make any significant efforts to address the problem of classroom violence, or to support the integration of students with diverse learning needs,” Hammond said.

Since November 2019, ETFO members have been engaged in legal job action with regards to negotiations with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA).

“Our government has put forward reasonable proposals at the negotiating table,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, in a release on Thursday morning, “including a commitment to maintain full-day kindergarten.

“It is deeply disappointing parents are still seeing repeated escalation at the expense of our students to advance higher compensation, including more generous benefit plans.”

“We firmly believe students should be in class, and we continue to stand ready to negotiate and reach a deal Ontario students deserve.”