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Provincial Government Releases Statement On Potential Strike

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Minister of Education Stephen Lecce encourages members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) to remain at the bargaining table up until the deadline.

ONTARIO —  Minister of Education Stephen Lecce issued a recent statement regarding the decision of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) to escalate to a strike, which comes just two days following initiating a work-to-rule campaign.

Lecce says they want to ensure students remain in the classroom.

"Strikes hurt kids. Our Government has been clear, we want deals that keep students in class. For teacher unions to leave the table, to turn their back on our children, and to escalate to the point of compromising their education, is deeply troubling for parents and our Government.

Our Government has demonstrated consistently it is reasonable and student-centric by making major moves that have not been matched or reciprocated by the teachers' unions.

In fact, on the days we made reasonable offers - reducing class room sizes from 28 to 25 and reducing online learning courses from four to two - the unions decided to escalate. This is wrong, and our students deserve better.

I call on OSSTF to remain at the bargaining table, with third-party, independent mediation, up until the deadline. All parties that are truly committed to the success of our children will consider every tool available to avoid strikes which hurt our students.

Our aim, as was the case with CUPE, is to get a deal that provides continuity for parents, and educational stability for students.

Our Government will never leave the table and continue to remain available 24/7 to reach a deal that keeps students in class."

Earlier this month, OSSTF members voted just 90 percent in favour of a strike while the Federation’s teacher and occasional teacher members provided a 95.5 percent strike mandate.

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