Northern Ontario schools prepare for one-day strike
SUDBURY -- Ontario's public high schools are preparing for a one-day strike on Wednesday if a contract is not reached.
And as a result, a number of northern Ontario school boards are planning to close schools for the day.
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) President Harvey Bischof says there's been no progress in contract talks.
Bargaining is scheduled to resume Monday in an effort to reach a deal.
Eric Laberge is the District 3 president of OSSTF. He says the strike affects more than just teachers.
"Support staff, educational support staff, professional services, students personnel, these are like the Aboriginal support workers, the attendance councillors, Psychometrists, psychologists, social workers. We have administrative assistants, clerks, library technicians, IT services technicians. We have all kinds of different job classes of people who do a lot of work not only in the background, but also with students specifically students at risk and those members are just as important as front line teachers," said Eric Laberge.
Because the OSSTF can also include office staff and educational assistants in elementary schools, a number of boards are closing both high schools and elementary schools on Wednesday.
In the northeast region, those include:
- Algoma District School Board in the Sault Ste. Marie area
- Conseil scolaire publique du Grand-NOrd de l'Ontario and Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario, in the Sudbury area
- Near North District School Board in the North Bay area
- District School Board North East and Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grand-Rivières, in the Timmins area
However, the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury and area will close only its high schools on Wednesday.
Union officials say they will know more by Tuesday night.
CTV News has learned that the following schools will remain open regardless of a strike:
- Sudbury Catholic District School Board
- Huron-Superio Catholic District School Board in Sault Ste. Marie, (however scheduled athletic events will not be happening)
- Northeastern Catholic District School Board in Timmins