Teachers in Ontario's French system vote to give union a strike mandate

TORONTO — Teachers in Ontario’s French−language public school system have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

Their union says it organized the vote in response to the government’s proposals that they say will increase teachers’ workloads.

Anne Vinet−Roy, president of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco−ontariens, says the results of the vote show teachers are pushing back against the government and standing up for the survival of the French−language education system.

There are no plans at the moment for a strike, as negotiations continue with the help of a conciliator, with at least three more dates scheduled.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says it is disappointing that AEFO has "rejected every opportunity to sign a deal that provides stability for students and families, including sending outstanding matters to binding interest arbitration."

Elementary and secondary teachers have reached deals with the province that settle certain issues and leave others to an arbitrator to decide.

Like the French teachers, Ontario’s English Catholic teachers remain without a deal and have also voted in favour of a strike mandate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2024.

The Canadian Press