Public elementary and high school teachers begin work-to-rule
Two teachers' unions are launching work-to-rule campaigns today.
Members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario and Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation are simultaneously starting job action as part of their ongoing negotiations with the province.
OSSTF President Harvey Bischof says the groups remain far apart with the province at the bargaining table.
"Nothing of substance has actually happened in the seven months since we served notice to bargain back on April 29th. We have really not been able to advance the ball at all."
Under the campaign teachers will be withdrawing from some administrative duties, won't be participating in standardized testing, and will no longer attend unpaid meetings outside of class time.
Bischof says, "Our hope is to start a job action that will have absolutely no effect on the quality of students' learning environment but raises public awareness and we hope promotes the public taking action to speak to their MPPs and tell them that they don't want to go down this destructive path with regard to publicly funded education in Ontario."
However you may notice high school teachers trying to get their message to members of the community through 'informational pickets.'
"The one visible thing that my members will be doing is kind of community outreach." Bischof explains. "They'll be distributing information at schools and at other community sites. None of which will slow down anybody's access to school, it's not meant to impede anybody in any way. But it is meant to try make sure word is out there about the cuts this government is imposing."
Meanwhile the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association has requested conciliation in their ongoing contract negotiations with the province.