Inadequate terms that ignore elementary issues push ETFO to escalate work-to-rule action

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has escalated its work-to-rule strike action today because the terms it was offered by the Liberal government and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) in early September are inadequate and ignore elementary school issues.

"On September 7, after insisting ETFO accept terms designed for secondary teachers, the Liberal government and OPSBA abruptly left the bargaining table," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "ETFO has waited more than a week for the government and OPSBA to return to the bargaining table. We have heard nothing from them."

"The government is trying to cut corners by offering elementary teachers a deal designed for secondary teachers," noted Hammond. "Elementary teachers and students have different needs than secondary teachers and students."

"Despite what the government is implying, it has not offered our members the same conditions as secondary teachers," continued Hammond. "There is a significant disparity in how elementary and secondary schools are funded. That funding gap results in larger class sizes, fewer student supports and poorer working conditions in our elementary schools.  The deal the government insists ETFO accept does absolutely nothing to close that gap."

ETFO will continue its escalated work-to-rule until a fair agreement can be reached.  Teachers will continue to provide instruction and other supports to students. The union has also indicated it will begin rotating one day strikes in October if sufficient progress has not occurred at the central bargaining table.  Parents and the public will be provided with adequate notice should these one day rotating strikes proceed.

"If the Liberal government had stayed at the table and not walked away, it's possible we could have reached a deal by now, and the escalation of ETFO's work-to-rule could have been avoided. We need to get back to the bargaining table as soon as possible and negotiate a fair deal for elementary teachers and students. That's the best way of ending the WTR and averting one day rotating strikes in October."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.


September 21, 2015



Effective Monday September 21, Teacher and Occasional Teachers will:


fill in for an absent Teacher or take on additional students if a class is collapsed because an Occasional Teacher (OT) has not been retained;


take on other duties during regularly scheduled preparation time (this includes being reassigned to teach in another class);


participate in TPA meetings unless the member is on an improvement plan or in a long term occasional (LTO) assignment;


respond to email, electronic or phone communication from administrators at any time unless it involves the safety of others. (This does not include communicating with the principal or vice-principal regarding an absence, emailing of day plans, if required, or any communication to accept or decline occasional teaching assignments);


update classroom websites/blogs, complete or distribute class newsletters;


submit any long range plans, short range plans, unit plans or literacy and numeracy block plans;


update IEPs by the "30th instructional day" deadline. Members will make the appropriate modifications for the students in their care, and will take the necessary time to complete IEPs at their own pace during the instructional day;    


participate in any in-school meetings or professional learning activities on the next PA day. Instead Teachers and OTs WILL use this time for their own self-directed activities within the classroom/school;


prepare report card comments, complete or package the Progress Report – Teachers WILL provide the school administrator with a hard copy class list with the ratings for the Learning Skills and Work Habits Section and the required Subject Area Section completed for each child. Teachers of alternative programs will provide one brief comment per area;


conduct parent interviews that are related to the Progress Report Card unless the Teacher/OT identifies a concern about a child's progress;


act as division chair or team lead.

On Wynne Wednesdays, all ETFO Teachers and OTs will focus on their classrooms:

  • Teachers and OTs will refrain from any activities that take them away from their classrooms and focus on teaching and student supervision;
  • Members who are not assigned to a classroom (consultants, coordinators, coaches, Resource Teachers, etc.) will visit a school, upon invitation, to work with an ETFO colleague in his/her classroom.


ETFO Phase 1 and Phase 2 work-to-rule strike action continues.


SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195,


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