December 4 was a big day for Ontario teachers. Thousands walked off the job to protest cuts to education after failing to reach an agreement with the government about education issues. The one-day Ontario teacher strike could lead to more in the future, as a deal has still not been reached. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) president Harvey Bischof told Narcity that they will not be resolving the issue until the government is prepared to offer a "productive proposal."In fact, teachers are already organizing a work-to-rule campaign, according to CTV News. They would give five days' notice if they were to stage another walk-out. Based on the progress so far, it seems likely that they will take labour action if the government does not come up with a good enough proposal. "As soon as the government indicates that it has a new proposal to make that is productive, we will engage with them," the OSSTF President told Narcity over the phone. So far, though, the two sides seem to be at odds. Narcity reached out to Education Minister Stephen Lecce's office and they maintained that "our Government has remained reasonable at the negotiating table."
Bischof's message yesterday was clear. "We are willing to do what it takes to defend the quality of education in Ontario," he told a CityNews reporter.
President of the @osstf Harvey Bischof joins the one-day picket line outside the constituency office of Premier Dou… https://t.co/S8eD9hSC0s— Mark Douglas (@Mark Douglas) 1575484276.0
Meanwhile, Stephen Lecce seemed just as firm in his statement on the issue.
My message to OSSTF is clear: Cancel this strike. #StrikesHurtKids https://t.co/fwAw2IkvvA— Stephen Lecce (@Stephen Lecce) 1575431091.0
Overcrowded class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and teachers' salaries are the main issues that the schools are struggling with. Lecce's emailed statement to Narcity read that teachers are "insisting on a $1.5 billion increase in pay and benefits."Meanwhile, Bischof maintains that the main issue here is that quality education is being negotiated. "Class size is the most important guarantee that students have to quality education," he told Narcity.
“While we sympathize absolutely with students and parents facing disruption and anxiety, a single day strike doesn’t come close to the kind of disruption this government will wreak on the education system if they’re allowed to go forward with their destructive proposals,” Bischof told Global News.