Update: Elementary schools in London will be closed Friday (Jan. 11) as “offended” teachers protest Bill 115.
“It’s a re-run of what did in December,” Phillip Mack, president of the Thames Valley local of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, said. “It is for a similar purpose but with the imposition of Bill 115 they’ve taken away our democratic rights. That’s the part we’re most offended by.”
The Thames Valley District School Board confirmed in a statement all elementary schools would be closed Friday. It will not provide transportation for students.
Bill 115 made striking illegal for teachers, but Mack said the political protest isn’t a strike. He said it is “exactly” what teachers did to protest the Harris government for two weeks in fall 1997.
“It wasn’t illegal then, in fact it was proven so after the fact,” he said. “This is a protest against the government, not our employer (the school board).”
The union membership voted 92 percent in favour of a one-day protest if Education Minister Laurel Broten used Bill 115 to impose contracts on teachers.
“The minister knew very well she would get a reaction and this is the reaction.”