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Bill 115

Tribune file photo

The board is asking parents to make alternative care arrangements for their children and not send them to school on Friday, Jan. 11.

Protest closes schools Friday

The local public school board will close all of its elementary schools to students this Friday because of a one-day walkout by unionized teachers and other education workers belonging to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.
ETFO announced its “one-day political protest” early Wednesday afternoon, and the Upper Grand District School Board responded later in the afternoon that its elementary schools would close to students Friday. The schools will reopen Monday.
The board is asking parents to make alternative care arrangements for their children and not send them to school on Friday.
School buses will run to pick up secondary, Catholic and French-language students, but will not collect Upper Grand elementary school students, a board news release said.
If a child attends a before and after, day care or “extended day” program in an Upper Grand elementary school, the operator of the program will notify parents directly about their plans for the day, the release said.
“At this point it is not known if this will affect Upper Grand secondary schools. Any changes will be communicated to families,” the release said.
Updated information is to be posted on the board and school websites and the board’s hot-line at 519-827-2089.
The one-day protest is aimed at the provincial government and Education Minister Laurel Broten for invoking Bill 115 on Jan. 3 to impose two-year contracts, said an ETFO news release.
Broten “made a deliberate and provocative choice to wipe out the democratic rights of tens of thousands of educators rather than work towards a respectful solution,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in the release. “She could have taken our olive branch and waited for a new leader to try and find solutions, but she chose not to.”
The release said that 92% of ETFO members who cast an online ballot in December voted in favour of a one-day political protest if Broten were to impose contracts using Bill 115.
ETFO also held one-day protests in December, which resulted in Upper Grand elementary schools being closed to students on Dec. 14.

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