English public schools right across Ontario are empty today.  All of the teachers are on a one-day strike, demanding that the province get back to the contract bargaining table.

Ontario Elementary Teachers Federation first vice-president Karen Campbell joined the line at R. Ross Beattie Senior Public School in Timmins.  She won’t comment on when the union will escalate to a full-scale strike.

“We’ve told the government we’re ready, we’re prepared to bargain” she says.  “We don’t want to escalate, but if the government is not moving on their position, we have to put pressure and that’s part of the bargaining process.”

Karen Campbell, first vice-president, Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.
(Bob McIntyre, MyCochraneNow.com staff)

The two sides haven’t met in five weeks.

“ETFO members are united, we’re solid and we want the government to get back to the bargaining table so we can get a fair deal, have our teachers back in the classroom doing that they love to do, engage with their students and inspire them to be the best that they can.”

Campbell says ETFO evaluates the situation every day, as it sets locations for ongoing rotating strikes and isn’t ready yet to stage a full strike.