GUELPH – Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) elementary schools will be closed on Feb. 4 and 6 due to ongoing strike action.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has conducted rotating strikes throughout the province, starting on Jan. 20 and will continue to do so next week if no central agreements are reached.
The first ETFO strike to impact the Upper Grand District School Board took place on Jan. 28.
ETFO represents elementary teachers and occasional teachers in the UGDSB. The board website specified secondary schools will operate as usual on Feb. 4 and 6.
ETFO president Sam Hammond says the union is striking to ensure appropriate funding for special education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining the Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation.
In a Jan. 27 statement Education minister Stephen Lecce said, “The consequences of union-led escalation are real, as families are forced to find child care on short notice.
“Repeated escalation at the expense of our students, to advance higher compensation, higher wages and even more generous benefits, is unacceptable for parents and students in our province.”
The February strikes will be the fourth and fifth school days public elementary students in Wellington County will miss due to educator union strikes.