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Timmins schools affected by rotating teacher strikes, unions up job action

Public elementary teachers aren't taking part in field trips, after school extracurriculars
Teachers strike Timmins TH3
Teachers picket and march on the sidewalk near Timmins High & Vocational Schoo in December. Wayne Snider for TimminsToday

As talks between teachers' unions and the Ontario government continue, job action is impacting Timmins classrooms. 

This week, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation's (OSSTF) is holding another one-day strike at certain locations Wednesday, Jan. 15 and it's impacting two local boards. 

OSSTF members at District School Board Ontario North East (DSB1) will be on the picket lines for the one-day full withdrawal of services. Public elementary and high schools will be closed for the strike. 

Members at Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Grandes Rivieres are also taking part in Wednesday's strike. A memo on the board's website says schools will be closed to students.

A number of teachers' unions are escalating strike action. 

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) started administrative job action today. It's members are staging a province-wide one-day strike Tuesday, Jan. 21. 

Members will not be completing report cards, participating in EQAO-related activities, and attending or taking part in Ministry of Education initiatives. The Northeastern Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) said in a statement that its schools will be open this week. 

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) also upped its job action today. 

Public elementary teachers are no longer supervising extracurricular activities unless scheduled during the regular school day, and not taking part in field trips. Members are also not arriving at work earlier than 30 minutes before the start of the instructional day are leaving within 15 minutes of the end of classes. They are not planning or participating in assemblies, unless it's to provide supervision to students.

If the ETFO and government don't reach a deal by Jan. 17, its members will start rotating strikes starting Jan. 20.

Since Nov. 26, OSSTF members have not been doing standardized testing or prep, completing Ministry of Education Data Reports, participating in school board professional activities, taking part in unpaid staff meetings outside the regular school day, commenting on report cards, or performing work of another bargaining unit. 

Last week, DSB1 announced it is not participating in EQAO Grade 9 math assessments after the Ministry of Education announced local boards would decide if the provincial testing is offered. 

For schools not administering the test, students will have to take it during the June 2020 administration period.

Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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