Labour Relations Update - November 22, 2019


  • The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation are in a legal strike position;
  • Both unions have advised of strike action in the form of a “work to rule” or “partial withdrawal of service” beginning Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
  • Both ETFO and OSSTF have indicated that this phase of strike action is in relation to administrative duties; all classroom activities, extracurricular programs and extended day programs will continue as usual.
  • A summary of local impacts for elementary and secondary schools is detailed below; more information about ETFO strike action; more information about OSSTF strike action is available on their website.

Elementary School Impacts

  • Elementary teachers will hold a “Solidarity Action” on November 26, 2019; elementary teachers and occasional teachers will meet together outside the main entrance of their workplace and enter the workplace together, 15 minutes before the start of the instructional day.  Student supervision will continue as usual on that day;
  • ETFO members will not participate in a number of Ministry or district led professional learning, training, meetings and other activities – these will not affect students in the classroom.
  • Information pickets by OSSTF members are possible at elementary sites.

Secondary School Impacts

OSSTF represents all secondary teachers, secondary occasional teachers, as well as education support workers in elementary and secondary schools.  (This includes school office administrators and assistants, custodial and maintenance workers, Early Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, Professional Support staff and central administration staff).

OSSTF has advised that the following service withdrawals will begin on Tuesday, November 26th:

  • Participation in EQAO preparation or testing;
  • Completion/Submission of Ministry of Education Data Reports;
  • Participation in School Board Professional Activities that are based on Ministry of Education or School Board Initiatives;
  • Participation in unpaid staff meetings outside the regular school day; and
  • Providing comments on any secondary provincial report cards

Regular classroom and extra-curricular activity is expected to continue.

OCDSB will be meeting with the OSSTF local prior to Tuesday to better understand local impacts.  More information will be shared at that time.


There may be information picket lines or walk-ins at school sites and administration buildings during labour action.


  • Delays and possible traffic or pedestrian access disruptions may be possible at school sites and administration buildings.
  • Approach a picket line or walk-in as you would a busy intersection; come to a complete stop, watch for an opening for safe access/crossing, and exercise caution before proceeding.
  • Students, parents, and employees have the right to cross a picket line without harassment or intimidation.
  • Keep personal biases and emotions in check.  Be friendly or neutral. Avoid verbal or physical confrontation.
  • If you are approaching a protest, walk-in or crossing a picket line in a vehicle, do not force your way through in a way that may endanger your safety or the safety of others.
In the event you feel your safety is at risk, do not cross the picket line.
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