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Teachers’ unions hoping Friday’s joint strike sends a message to the provincial government

The four major teachers’ unions will be holding a joint strike this Friday, meaning schools will be closed throughout the province.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens will be a part of this week’s joint strike.

Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board have confirmed that all schools will be closed Friday due to the impending strike.

“I guess that’s a sign that everyone is feeling the same way about how the government has approached negotiations,” President of the Hastings-Prince Edward Teacher Local of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation Dave Henderson tells the newsroom

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Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 29 President Scott Marshall adds that everyone wants to be at work, not on strike. “It seems like there hasn’t been any meaningful bargaining taking place with any of the unions,” he continues. Marshall adds that the teacher strike has been about protecting the public school system from a government that “doesn’t value public education.”

“Let’s see them come to the table and stop with the misleading press conferences,” Marshall says.

Henderson says the ETFO has not been at the negotiating table with the government since January 31st. He adds that ETFO’s negotiating team has been meeting with the mediator on a “daily basis” but talks will only continue if the mediator determines both sides are willing to budge on the issues.

“If Friday doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what will,” Henderson says.

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