Ontario’s elementary school teachers are continuing their rotating one-day strikes with teachers in the Niagara region and Dryden on the picket lines Tuesday to protest Bill 115.

The bill gives the government the power to stop strikes.

Last week, Education Minister Laurel Broten said the government would not intervene in the one-day strike, but would consider taking action if the walkout lasted longer than one day.

The job action began Monday with teachers walking out in Stratford and Timmins. Teachers in York Region will walk off the job on Thursday and Toronto teachers will likely strike early next week, though a date has not yet been set.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said they would give parents 72-hours’ notice before any planned strike.

Toronto’s elementary schools will have to close in the event of a strike, Toronto District School Board chair Chris Bolton said, as staff said it would not be safe to keep them open.

The Peel board will decide Tuesday night if schools will be open during a one-day strike.

York region teachers will be joined by teachers in Trillium Lakelands for Thursday’s job action.

Meanwhile, at the province’s high schools, students, including those at East York Collegiate Institute, are continuing to protest a work-to-rule campaign that cancelled all extracurricular activities.

Elementary school board one-day strike schedule:

  • Monday: Avon Maitland and Ontario North East
  • Tuesday: District School Board of Niagara and Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in northwestern Ontario
  • Wednesday: Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board  and Lakehead District School Board
  • Thursday: York Region District School Board, Trillium Lakelands District School Board, Renfrew District School Board
  • Friday: Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board, Simcoe County School Board, Upper Grand School Board

Bill 115 allows the government to impose a two-year contract on teachers that includes a wage freeze, halves sick days and ends teachers’ ability to bank unused sick days.

It also gives Broten the power to end a strike or lockout without debating the issue in the provincial legislature.

The teachers’ unions have agreed to a two-year wage freeze, but they argue it’s unfair to take away their members’ right to strike.