Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

LINDSAY — Students and parents fresh from avoiding a shutdown of schools last week could see a possible elementary school teachers’ strike if a union vote shows support tomorrow.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) members from the Trillium Lakelands area will hold a confidential members’ meeting and a central strike vote on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

A positive outcome would give negotiators a mandate to call a strike if necessary.

In a release today, president Sam Hammond said “ETFO’s goal is to reach an agreement at the central bargaining table without having to take job action.

“We are committed to continuing negotiations until a fair and reasonable collective agreement can be reached that protects and improves the learning and working conditions in public elementary schools in Ontario.”

He said at the member-only meeting, elementary teachers, occasional teachers, and designated early childhood educators from the three locals will discuss central bargaining issues.

The ETFO provincial executive has asked members to demonstrate their support for ETFO’s bargaining priorities that include more support for students with special needs, the protection of kindergarten, class size and class structure, and fair and transparent hiring practices.

It says holding a central strike vote is one part of the legal bargaining process established under Ontario labour laws.

There are two ETFO central negotiation tables; one table for teachers and occasional teachers and the other for educational workers, which includes designated early childhood educators, education support personnel and professional support personnel.

Secondary school teachers are also in the process of separate contract talks.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will hold a members only strike vote Oct. 16.


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