By Ned Bekavac
Five teams from Guelph CVI are pulling out of their District 10 high school sports leagues due to the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation labour dispute.
Meanwhile, two teams from Centennial CVI have returned to their leagues after leaving them recently.
Guelph CVI’s senior and junior boys basketball teams, its senior and junior girls volleyball teams, and its boys hockey team are all out as of yesterday.
The teams’ coaches have stepped away, said Upper Grand District School Board communications officer Maggie McFadzen, on Thursday.
Local high school teachers, who are alone among Ontario’s public teachers in having ratified a new contract, have been asked by their union to revisit their commitment to extracurricular activities.
School sports teams are coached on a voluntary basis. Coaches choosing to leave their teams are doing so in a show of support to the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation, said McFadzen.
Games involving the five Guelph CVI teams, as of Monday, will be postponed. As of Monday afternoon, the school’s girls hockey team is still scheduled to play its District 10 games.
McFadzen said the way each school and coach deals with the issue can be different.
“It’s a mish-mash,” said McFadzen, adding that it’s hard to envision what things will look like down the road.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.
At Centennial, the school’s junior girls volleyball and junior boys basketball teams are back after stepping away recently.
These two teams were coached by long-term occasional teachers and they’ve been instructed to withdraw from volunteer activities. Since then, coaching duties have been picked up by school staff.
While the Upper Grand board and its high school teachers have ratified a new contract, a separate OSSTF bargaining unit, representing occasional teachers, hasn’t reached an agreement with the board.