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Teachers Plan Friday Protest, Thames Valley Elementary Schools Will be Closed

Parents will have to scramble to find child care on Friday. Tens of thousands of elementary teachers and education workers in Ontario are set for a one-day protest Friday over the government's decision to impose new collective agreements. The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says all of its 76,000 members voted in favour of a political protest should the education minister force contracts on them. As a result, all Thames Valley elementary schools will be forced to close this Friday. ETFO president Sam Hammond says the government made a "deliberate and provocative'' choice to wipe out the democratic rights of educators rather than negotiate. But Education Minister Laurel Broten says the teachers aren't in a legal strike position and any strike action would be illegal. She wouldn't say what kind of penalties striking teachers may face, saying that's up to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

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