Public Elementary Teachers Hit the Picket Lines to Back Contract Demands

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Public elementary teachers and occasional teachers in Windsor-Essex are hoping for the best as the union and provincial government head back to the negotiating table.

1,600 local members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario are taking part in a one-day strike to back contract demands.

They are picketing at several locations including outside of John Campbell elementary on Tecumseh Rd. East in Windsor.

President of the local elementary occasional teachers in Greater Essex Sharon Ciebin says her members are looking for a fair collective agreement.

"I am hoping that the other team comes back ready to negotiate with a mandate to be able to negotiate unlike previously," says Ciebin.

Ciebin says parents continue to support teachers.

"This government has tried to divide and separate parents from teachers but parents know it's their children's schooling that is being affected and they stand with teachers," says Ciebin.    

A mediator is at the table today with the union and provincial government.

It's the first time both sides have been at the table together in more than a month.

The union is threatening to stage a province-wide strike once a week starting next Thursday if no deal is reached.