NEWS

Ottawa elementary teachers to walk off job next week

12/07/2012 11:28 EST | Updated 02/06/2013 05:12 EST
Ottawa's English public elementary school teachers will be walking off the job on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario notified its members Friday morning.

On Thursday, Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten said she would allow one-day walkouts by teachers to go ahead in two small school boards without legislating them back to work, but said she is prepared to act if the job action goes further.

The union earlier gave formal notice Wednesday for one-day walkouts to be staged in two small school districts — Avon Maitland and Ontario North East — on Monday.

The union told CBC News Thursday every elementary public school in the province would be affected by a walkout by Christmas.

"Given that ETFO has provided five days notice… I am prepared to let one day of legal strike action go," Broten said Thursday. "If strike action goes beyond one day, I have the necessary legal documents drafted and ready to end any strike action that will put student success and safety at risk," said Broten.

Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teachers Federation president Peter Giuliani said the union was glad to hear Broten said the province would not intervene in the two Monday strikes but said he found the way the message was worded was "bizarre."

The teachers' union has said the walkouts are in protest of Bill 115, which gives the government the power to stop strikes and impose a collective agreement if it doesn't like what the union and local boards negotiate.

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