UPDATE: Public Schools Closed Wednesday for One Day Strike
Classes are not in session in public high schools across Ontario as thousands of teachers are holding a one-day strike after failing to reach a contract agreement with the provincial government.
President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, Harvey Bischof says the Ford government did not put forward any constructive proposals through the negotiation process.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce had asked the union to remain at the bargaining table, saying his team presented a new "framework" to the union in a bid to keep all parties at the table.
The teachers are already conducting a work-to-rule campaign and say they are pushing back against government plans to increase class sizes and introduce mandatory e-learning courses.
Bischof hopes the strike will call political attention to the cuts that this government has already imposed and wants to impose further.
The Greater Essex County District School Board has confirmed all of its elementary, secondary and continuing education schools will be closed Wednesday as a result of the strike.
Board Spokesperson Scott Scantlebury says although the OSSTF is taking job action, it does represent some elementary educational assistants, meaning grade schools are impacted as well.
He says buses are also cancelled.
"Student transportation for our students will be cancelled. Now parents may see school buses on the road, but those are for the other boards that are not impacted directly by this one day walk out by the members of OSSTF," says Scantlebury.
The one-day walk out affects roughly 36,000 students with the school board.
Classes will resume Thursday.
There's no word yet as to when contract talks between the province and the union might resume.