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Peel high school teachers join growing Ontario strike

05/04/2015 01:29 EDT | Updated 05/03/2016 05:12 EDT
High school teachers in Peel Region's public schools will walk off the job Monday after negotiations with their school board fell apart following four days of intensive meetings.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation had set a deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET Monday to reach an agreement. Peel District School Board Chair Janet McDugald earlier declined to outline what specifically the two sides were negotiating, but said it involved issues at the local level that were "non-monetary."

The strike means that 42,000 students will be locked out of their classrooms. High school teachers in Peel now join their colleagues in the Durham and Rainbow boards, who are already on the picket line. 

According to the school board's website, the following changes will be implemented Monday morning:

- All regular instructional programs for grade 9 to 12 students are cancelled.

- Secondary extracurricular activities, field trips and school events are cancelled.

- Buses for secondary students will not operate. Buses to provincial schools will continue.

- The Peel board's eLearning courses will not continue.

- Night School classes will not run.

- Both elementary and secondary International Language classes are cancelled.

- Teachers may be picketing outside Peel secondary schools. Picketing is not expected to take place outside Peel elementary schools.

In a statement posted online, McDugald said that the OSSTF is using local-level strikes to create pressure at the provincial bargaining table.

"Not only is that disingenuous, it's actually irresponsible to disrupt the school year for 42,000 Peel secondary students as a political tactic," she said. "There is no legitimate reason for Peel schools to be on strike — none."

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