ETFO escalates work-to-rule action with further withdrawal of services

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has escalated its ongoing strike action.

On Dec. 10, union members began phase two of work-to-rule action.

“With a government that refuses to listen to reasonable demands and invest in students and public education, ETFO has no other choice,” the ETFO wrote on Twitter on Dec. 10

In the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB), ETFO represents elementary teachers and occasional teachers.

The union’s concerns include more supports for students with special needs, class size, protection of the kindergarten program and critical issues like addressing violence in schools.

The new work-to-rule protocol states ETFO members will withdraw from certain services including but not limited to:

– planning new field trips scheduled before June 30;

– collecting money for school-based activities, excluding charitable causes;

– serving as teacher in charge;

– distributing memos/letters from a school and/or school board; and

– completing select requests by an administrator or supervisor.

For a full list visit

Members are also encouraged to participate in at least one ETFO solidarity activity each week. These could include:

– performing an information picket line;

– taking to Twitter with regards to bargaining and education issues;

– wearing an ETFO “Class Size Matters” or “Cuts Hurt Kids” button; and

– using the ETFO solidarity email signature.

ETFO members have been without a contract since Aug. 31 and there has been little progress made in negotiations with the government.

“When the Ford government refuses to listen and invest in students’ needs, and the education minister turns to blame tactics, we are forced to act to defend public education in Ontario,” ETFO wrote on Twitter on Dec. 10.

Phase two work-to-rule comes on the heels of phase one, initiated on Nov. 26, that includes a withdrawal of the following services:

– attending meetings;

– participation in professional learning or training;

– completion and filing of report cards; and

– responding to emails.


The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) is also escalating its strike action.

Following a province-wide strike and walkout on Dec. 4, which closed all schools in both the UGDSB and Wellington Catholic District School Board, OSSTF members in select school boards were scheduled for a second walk out on Dec. 11.

No Wellington County schools were to be impacted.