Thousands of parents are bracing themselves for an imminent Ontario’s public elementary school teachers strike that could happen on May 10 if the Elementary School Teachers’ Federation cannot reach a deal with the provincial government by then.
The ETFO, the union representing both public elementary and occasional teachers, made the announcement this evening, adding that they have received a ‘no board’ report from the Minister of Labour. That puts the EFTO in a legal strike position as of May 10.
Public High school teachers in several education boards throughout the province are facing similar uncertainty.
Earlier this week, high school teachers in Peel have set a strike date of May 4 while Durham high school teachers went on strike Monday.
High schools in Sudbury and the surrounding area will be closed beginning Monday if they can’t reach a deal with the Rainbow District School Board over the weekend.
When high school teachers go on strike, the consequences are felt more by the students than the parents. Students have so much course work that needs to be covered, grades could be impacted and extra-curricular activities grind to a halt which could complicate their plans to get into the college of their choice. Parents really aren’t inconvenienced as they don’t have to arrange to have someone look after their teenagers, although some of them require looking after 24/7.
The elementary school teachers’ strike on the other hand is a major headache for parents who are forced to make alternate arrangement to keep their children with friends, neighbors and if that isn’t an option then they have to pay someone by the hour. For many parents on tight budgets, this can be a real drain and an unnecessary expense.
The strike which comes weeks away from summer holidays does not bode well for students.