High school teachers in 20 public boards, including Toronto, Halton and Durham, have begun selective strike action after both sides failed to reach an agreement by the Sunday midnight deadline.

“We were hopeful through the course of the last four days of negotiations that we’d resolve these issues but unfortunately we hit a few roadblocks, late, late last night, [and] early this morning,” Ken Coran, president of Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), told CityNews on Monday.

“The ball is certainly in the government’s court right now,” he added. “We’re willing to get back to that table. We were close. It just takes a few modifications to bring this deal home and I think that’d be in everyone’s interest.”

The union accepts the wage freeze but one of the matters still be wrestled with is a so-called grid increment for newer teachers with less than 10 years of experience, he said.

The selective withdrawal of services includes: not filling in for absent teachers, not supervising students outside class, not attending staff meetings, not communicating with parents after hours, including responding to emails and parent-teacher interviews, among others.

Education minister Laurel Broten said she is disappointed the OSSTF has walked away from talks.

“Good work was happening. There was important dialogue taking place. I’m disappointed that OSSTF has walked away and taken strike action today. I still encourage them – get back to a local table, reach local agreements as they said they wanted to do so many months ago when they walked away from our provincial discussion table,” said Broten.

Coran said teachers will continue delivering the curriculum, delivering lessons as well as marking tests, reports and exams.

“So that part of the school year will not be impacted at all, and students really shouldn’t notice any kind of change to their classroom activities,” he said.

The OSSTF had initially planned job action in eight school boards last Wednesday, but postponed the move to start “exploratory” talks with the provincial government. 

“OSSTF made the offer to continue talks in an effort to reach an acceptable agreement. OSSTF is open to further discussions at both the provincial and local levels; however, at this time, no further talks are scheduled,” the union said in a statement Monday morning.

There are fears that some midterm report cards would be affected.

Teachers in Toronto normally submit students’ marks into a central database. As part of the job action, they threatened to instead submit the marks to their school’s administration team, which would slow the process down to a crawl.



Bill 115, also called the Putting Students First Act, passed on Sept. 11 with support from the Progressive Conservatives.

The OSSTF and other education unions have filed court challenges against the provincial government.

According to the OSSTF website, teachers and occasional teachers in a legal strike position will not:

  • Attend staff meetings.
  • Organize/attend department meetings.
  • Attend department head meetings (department heads).
  • Attend central (board) committee meetings/councils.
  • Conduct co-op visits outside of regular school day hours.
  • Attend Open House/Information Sessions outside of regular school day.
  • Answer parental emails outside of the regular school day.
  • Participate in parent interviews outside of the regular school day.
  • Provide progress reports (written reports beyond those provided at mid-term and end of term).


Click here for a full list of possible job actions.

The affected boards:

  • Bluewater District School Board (Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board (Early Childhood Educators, Educational Support Staff, Maintenance and Cleaners)

  • Durham District School Board (Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Greater Essex County District School Board (Educational Support Staff, Professional Student Services Personnel, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Halton District School Board (Office/Clerical/Technical, Professional Student Services Personnel, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Lakehead District School Board (Early Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Limestone District School Board (Teachers, Occasional Teachers and Professional Student Services Personnel)

  • Niagara District School Board (Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (Early Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, Office/Clerical/Technical, Plant Support Staff, Teachers, Occasional Teachers and Professional Student Services Personnel)

  • Renfrew District School Board (Early Childhood Educators, Office Managers, Teachers and Occasional Teachers) 

  • Superior Greenstone District School Board (Educational Support Staff, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board (Educational Assistants and Professional Student Services Personnel)

  • Toronto District School Board (Teachers)

  • Trillium Lakelands District School Board (Professional Student Services Personnel, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Upper Canada District School Board (Professional Student Services Personnel, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Upper Grand District School Board (Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Office/Clerical/Technical, Professional Student Services Personnel, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Waterloo Region District School Board (Educational Support Staff, Professional Student Services Personnel, Supervision Monitors/Cafeteria Assistants, Teachers and Occasional Teachers)

  • Wellington Catholic District School Board (Early Childhood Educators, Educational Support Staff, Office/Clerical/Technical, Professional Student Services Personnel)