TORONTO - Elementary teachers' locals at school boards in the Guelph and Niagara areas are strictly limiting their members' school activities as the union steps up its battle with the Liberal government.
An Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario strike protocol notice sent to teachers at the Upper Grand District School Board in the Guelph area outlines 13 restrictions.
They include avoiding extra-curricular activities such as after-school holiday musicals, not participating in field trips and other measures set to kick in Monday morning.
Elementary teachers working under the Niagara school board are taking similar actions.
An ETFO spokeswoman declined to say whether the same steps will be taken at elementary schools across the province.
The ETFO notice says teachers who don't follow the strike actions could face a fine of up to $500 per day, publication of their name in a union publication and a suspension of union services.
The union will be in a legal strike position as of Dec. 10 and has said it will give parents 72-hour notice before teachers walk off the job.
Meanwhile, it was revealed Sunday that the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation has scrapped its tentative agreement with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and that teachers will begin administrative action Monday.
Teachers are being told to not attend meetings, administer standardized tests or meet with parents after school.
OSSTF spokeswoman Lori Foote said the tentative agreement was scrapped due to "ministerial intervention."
But in a statement released Sunday night, Education Minister Laurel Broten said there had been no interference in local bargaining.
"That allegation is completely false. I am disappointed that OSSTF has decided to end bargaining at the local level and to resume job action that puts our students in the middle. We have always said we would work with teachers to negotiate local agreements," she said.
"That process has been successful. My ministry has reviewed each of the tentative agreements reached so far, and deemed each of those agreements workable. It is in the best interests of students, parents and teachers to continue to bargain locally before the Dec. 31 deadline."
The OSSTF cut off contract talks last week after teachers rejected local agreements with two school boards. It has also suspended ratification votes for any other tentative agreements until further notice.
The union is set to reveal its next actions at a Monday news conference.
The Liberal government has the power to impose new collective agreements and prohibit certain strike actions, but Broten hasn't said whether she'll take those steps.
Tory education critic Lisa MacLeod said Broten needs to issue a ministerial order stopping the work-to-rule actions by elementary teachers.
"I think that tomorrow when the minister of education finds that we have labour strife in our schools she's going to have to act," MacLeod said.
(The Canadian Press, CFRA, CKTB)