What’s open and closed if teachers' strike goes ahead in Windsor-Essex
Greater Essex County District School Board office shown in this file photo in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. (Christie Bezaire / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR -- All Windsor-Essex public schools and continuing education centres could be closed on Wednesday due to a potential one-day walkout by teachers and educational workers.
The Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers' Federation has scheduled a full withdrawal of services by its members on Wednesday, Dec. 4, if a new collective agreement has not been reached by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
This would affect 36,000 students across the public board in Windsor-Essex.
The Greater Essex County District School Board is outlining details of what will happen if there is a strike. Public school board spokesperson Scott Scantlebury is warning parents to just get prepared to keep kids home on Wednesday.
“We're leaving it up to the daycare operators whether they will operate on that day,” says Scantlebury. “They will certainly be permitted to open if they choose to do so. So it's best that parents who have children at daycare providers located within our schools, check in advance to make sure that they're open."
While this job action includes 1000 high school teachers in the region, OSSTF is also negotiating with the province on behalf of the over 900 local support staff members of the union.
OSSTF also represents educational support staff, professional services support personnel, continuing education instructors and lese- language and employment services employees.
GECDSB officials say if that walkout occurs:
-All GECDSB schools – elementary, secondary & continuing education – will be closed on that day
-Student transportation for GECDSB students will be cancelled
-The 5 GECDSB Early On centres (Begley, West Gate, Roseville, Queen Elizabeth & John Campbell public schools) will be closed
-Coop students will not report to their placements
-School-based daycare centres will be open
GECDSB schools, student transportation and programs are scheduled to resume operation on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Updates will be posted to the Labour Negotiations 2019 section of the board website.
In Lambton-Kent, if this one-day strike happens, it will only impact high schools. Elementary schools will stay open.
WECDSB schools remain open:
Meanwhile, all schools with the Windsor Essex Catholic District School board will be open. The WECDSB teachers are represented by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, which are not participating in the walkout because they are not at the same stage in the negotiating process as OSSTF.
The four major teachers' unions have all expressed frustration with what they say has been a lack of progress at the bargaining table with the province.
Elementary teachers also started an administrative work-to-rule campaign last week.
The Catholic teachers' union had talks Friday involving a conciliator, and French teachers will hold strike votes this month.
With files from a report by The Canadian Press that was first published Nov. 28, 2019.