Toronto’s Catholic primary school teachers threaten to strike next week

Toronto’s Catholic elementary teachers are threatening to strike on Monday if there is no preliminary agreement with the council.

Their union emailed a memo to members Tuesday night stating that the council plans to deduct payment from some members because they refused to participate in the testing of gifted students – something that is under current work -to-rule was banned – and also warned members about the escalated work action. which will target one or more schools to get started.

The memo, obtained by the Star, said after an emergency meeting, leaders of the Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers (TECT) decided to notify the council that “in the event that a new collective agreement is not concluded , it intends to make a full withdrawal of tuition / services in one or more schools of the Toronto Catholic District School Board on Monday, January 31, 2022. ”

The teachers have been escalating their work-to-arrange sanctions for months, which include no extracurricular activities, parent-teacher meetings and only the submission of barefoot report cards, which frustrates many parents.

A statement from the Toronto Catholic District School Board said the outstanding issues between the two sides include better management of the “serious issue” of absenteeism, as well as the allocation of teachers to classes to reduce disruption in schools.

The Toronto resident – one of the few, if any, across the province who has yet to reach an agreement with their board – has been without a contract since 2019.

However, provincial agreements, which are typically reached first because they deal with big money items such as salaries, were only ratified in 2020, and some were only reached after the pandemic had already hit.

Contracts with individual boards usually deal with more administrative type issues.

“This is a crucial moment for all our members, and by standing in solidarity against the strongly armed action of this council, we will better protect the well-being of all members and their families,” said local union president Julie Altomare- DiNunzio said in the memo.

However, the board called it “inexcusable that TECT wants to stop student learning after all students have been through the pandemic to prevent the board from managing teacher absenteeism and important staffing processes.”

Chairman Angela Kennedy said in a statement to the Star that “to be clear, TECT is going to strike because the board does not agree with their proposals on two issues. Firstly, absence remains a serious issue affecting the classroom experience for students “The council has the right to address attendance issues to ensure that teachers are supported while also improving attendance at work. TECT wants to prevent the board from addressing these concerns.”

She also said that the council “is responsible for ensuring that staff levels and class assignments are managed in a way that reduces disruption for students. TECT wants to limit the way in which the board determines these important issues, especially during the start of the school year. ”

More to come.


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