By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Rotating strikes by elementary teachers will be hitting Oshawa and Durham Region this week.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced one-day walkouts in the Durham District School Board (DDSB) on Thursday (Jan. 30).
Elementary teachers, who have been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2019, began one-day walkouts on Monday, Jan. 20.
In a news release, ETFO president Sam Hammond criticized Education Minister Stephen Lecce for his continued suggestion teachers are striking in opposition to the province’s offer of a one per cent pay increase.
“Minister Lecce is wrong when he says our strike action is about money,” Hammond said. “Ask any ETFO educator and they will tell you that a lack of supports for children with special needs, large class sizes and the violent incidents in classrooms due to a lack of supports for students with unique learning needs are the reasons they are willing to go on strike.”
Hammond added he was “very disappointed” it has been more than a month since the two sides last had formal negotiations.
Due to the strike, DDSB has announced all elementary schools will be closed on Thursday.
This isn’t the first labour-related action in Durham Region this school year, as secondary school teachers had a one-day walkout in November.