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Local union confirms Wednesday school strike

'I have EA’s that have to wear Kevlar arm guards, spit guards and shin guards just to go to work'

The one day strike Wednesday of Near North schools in on, confirmed Troy Simkins, President OSSTF District 4 ESSP Bargaining Unit this afternoon.

On November 30, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation announced a province-wide one-day full withdrawal of services.

The strike will not only include teachers but local education workers who will be withdrawing their services as well.

These jobs include:

  • Educational Assistants,
  • Early Childhood Educators, Child Development Councillors,
  • Communicative Disorder Assistants,
  • Behaviour Councillors,
  • Attendance Councillors,
  • Psychometrist,
  • Speech Language Pathologist,
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists.

“My members play an integral part in the education system”, said Simkins in a news release. “It is very important that parents and the public know that we are on strike as well.”

Simkins blames the Ford government cuts to education for "a devastating effect on Ontario’s world-class education system. Schools are in crisis mode because of these cuts. Support staff work with some of the most challenging students in Ontario.

“I have EA’s that have to wear Kevlar arm guards, spit guards and shin guards just to go to work,” added Simkins. “The violence in the schools is out of control in some cases. This is happening in our kindergarten classes as well. The mental health needs of our students are suffering because of the lack of support. The list goes on and on.”

Meanwhile, the Nipissing Parry Sound Catholic District School Board says its schools will be open on Wednesday.

The board says they do not have employees represented by OSSTF, therefore they are not impacted by the strike.

They say teachers at the English Catholic Board are members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, which is not in a legal strike position, with negotiations ongoing.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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