strike ontario

Ontario government to pay parents compensation during teacher's strike

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced this morning that the provincial government will provide compensation of up to $60 a day to parents affected by teacher strikes.

The money will be provided so parents can seek other child care options if strike actions result in school closures. 

"All parents with children up to 12 or grade seven in publicly funded schools are eligible for this support," Lecce said in the announcement.

"Further, children and youth with special needs up to age 21 who are in school are also eligible for funding."

He added that funding will be retroactive for parents to cover costs that have already accumulated due to labour disruptions in the past few months. 

Parents with qualifying children up to the age of six that are enrolled in school-based child care centres will be eligible to receive $60 per day, parents of qualifying students in junior and senior kindergarten will receive $40 per day, and parents with qualifying children in grades one to seven will receive $25 per day. 

Parents of children with special needs in junior kindergarten up to and including Grade 12 can get $40.

Parents can apply online to receive this compensation, or they can access physical copies of the application at school boards and MPP offices. 

Lecce also said that if all boards across the province decided to go on strike at the same time, it would cost the province $48 million for a single day. 

"We want parents to know that we're here for them throughout this challenging time," he said. "I'd like to be clear that I don't want to see further strike action."

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the union representing Ontario elementary schools, has informed the province that staff in Toronto, York Region and Ottawa-Carleton boards plan to walk off the job Monday unless progress is made. 

ETFO says it is fighting for "smaller classes where students get the help they need; more resources for students with special needs; protection of our world-renowned Kindergarten program; reduction of violent incidents; and fair compensation for educators, particularly occasional teachers, early childhood educators, professional support personnel and education support personnel."

Disputes between teacher's unions and the province have been ongoing and constant since September, and several other school boards have held walk-outs so far this school year.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, for instance, is holding its fifth rotating strike at schools in 16 boards today. 

"Other than cuts to education, Ford’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce has refused to give his negotiators a mandate to discuss the substantive issues we know are important for students and education workers," ETFO President Sam Hammond said in a statement.

"Unless the government makes an immediate effort to engage in serious talks, we will have no option but to further escalate our strike action. As of today, Minister Lecce has established no dates for contract talks."

Lead photo by

Boris T

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