Elementary teachers increase work-to-rule action


Public elementary teachers and occasional teachers will launch phase two of work-to-rule strike action when they return to classrooms in September.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced Thursday that teachers would continue to carry out instructional duties in the classroom and volunteer for extra curricular activities as they see fit, but will withdraw from a number of activities including school field trips, collecting money for school-related activities and fundraisers, collect or distribute to students any paperwork required by the school or school board, attend ‘meet the teacher’ events outside of working hours and respond to any electronic communication from the principal or vice-principal outside of school hours except where there is a safety issue involved.

“We will stay the course to protect teacher professionalism and teachers’ ability to use professional judgment when providing instruction to students,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in a media statement. “While we have agreed to return to the bargaining table on September 1, there must be movement at the table towards a fair collective bargaining agreement that respects teacher working conditions and student learning conditions.” 

The ETFO has raised concerns about increases in class sizes and teachers not having the ability to manage their own prep time. The teachers’ union will be back at the bargaining table Sept. 1 with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA).

Last week, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the OPSBA reached a tentative agreement.