The union representing Ontario’s French-language teachers announced today that it would begin a work-to-rule strike on Thursday.
In December 2019, the Association des enseignantes et enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) members voted 97 per cent in favour of taking strike action as teachers continue their efforts to force the Ontario government back down from curriculum changes they see as detrimental.
The work-to-rule will mostly affect administrative duties expected of teachers, but that fall outside the scope of actual teaching.
“Our members spoke, and they had much to say: AEFO listened to them and heard their message loud and clear,” AEFO President Rémi Sabourin said in a news release today.
At the bargaining table, the union said “student learning is a crucial issue” for which Franco-Ontarian teachers. While there are other issues, AEFO said it is protesting in particular the mandatory e-learning requirement the Doug Ford Conservatives have included in the curriculum for high school students. The union said there is an issue as well with a decrease in course options now offered to students.
“AEFO must share responsibility for decisions taken at the negotiating table and cannot agree to participate in the deterioration of the Franco-Ontarian education system,” Sabourin said.
Despite work-to-rule action, negotiations will go on this week, the union said.
On Friday, Sudbury.com learned that a rotating one-day strike by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) members hits local school boards on Wednesday (Jan. 15), and Rainbow District School Board, Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon (CSCNO) and Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario will be cancelling all high school classes that day due to the labour action.
CSCNO schools will also be closed to all elementary students on Wednesday.
Rainbow said this includes schools in Sudbury, Espanola and on Manitoulin Island. The strike also includes students at Barrydowne College, N'Swakamok Native Alternative School, the Attendance Centre and the Adult Day School.
Extra-curricular activities, field trips, school events and co-operative education placements for secondary students will also be cancelled Jan. 15. Dual credit courses will continue at Cambrian College.
For elementary students of the Rainbow Board, classes will proceed normally, including for Grade 7 and 8 students at Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, Confederation Secondary School, Lively District Secondary School and Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. School office staff will be participating in the strike, however.
Parents of elementary school students with the Rainbow Board are asked to call their child's school to inform them if their student will not be attending classes Jan. 15.