ONTARIO: High school teachers to hold one-day strike on Wednesday

Public high school teachers in Ontario will hold a one-day strike on Wednesday.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), which represents the teachers, announced Thursday that it’s given the province the mandatory notice that its members intend to walk off the job.

Lecce countered, saying: “Strikes hurt kids. Our Government has been clear, we want deals that keep students in class. For teacher unions to leave the table, to turn their back on our children, and to escalate to the point of compromising their education, is deeply troubling for parents and our Government.

“Our Government has demonstrated consistently it is reasonable and student-centric by making major moves that have not been matched or reciprocated by the teachers’ unions.

“In fact, on the days we made reasonable offers – reducing class room sizes from 28 to 25 and reducing online learning courses from four to two – the unions decided to escalate. This is wrong, and our students deserve better.”

The Education Minister says compensation, not class sizes, is the biggest sticking point. Lecce says the union is seeking a $1.5 billion increase in pay, while the province is offering $750 million.

“That is the principle issue that divides the parties,” Lecce said.

Premier Doug Ford said he has confidence that Lecce can reach a deal with the teachers.