Education Minister Stephen Lecce has spoken to media today regarding his call for the unions representing the high school and Catholic teachers to cancel their planned strike action on Thursday.
This call is a result of Lecce’s announcement yesterday that the Ford government is backing down on two major issues that the unions are fighting for – larger class sizes and mandatory e-learning.
As bargaining and contract talks continue, the government has agreed to an average of 23 students per class, instead of its previous proposal which was 28. With regards to e-learning, the government will now allow parents to opt-out of new e-learning courses.
Minister Lecce also said that the government’s decision is proof that they have been listening to the unions’ concerns. Although a province-wide strike action has been planned by members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and rotating strikes by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), the government hopes that the unions would decide to withdraw the job action and return to the table to resume the negotiations.