Ontario elementary school teachers set to strike Dec. 1

Retired staff, parents asked to help supervise students during job action

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has notified several school boards across the province of their members’ intention to begin job action starting Dec. 1.

More than 60,000 secondary school teachers, custodians, teaching assistants and secretaries are already part of a work-to-rule campaign.

There has been no mention from the union about closing down schools, but public school trustees in Ottawa voted on Tuesday to authorize the director of education to close schools if students’ safety is threatened. The vote took place the same day Ottawa police investigated two fires at South Carleton High School in Ottawa. There has been no confirmation of whether the fires were deliberately set.

“Our objective is not to shut down schools, but we will exercise our right under the Ontario Labour Act," Sam Hammond, president of the ETFO, told the CBC.

Retired principals and vice principals and parent volunteers are being asked by Ottawa’s public schools to help with supervisory and administrative duties as teachers continue the work-to-rule campaign.

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