Simcoe County public high schools to close Dec. 4 if agreement not reached with union, province

WATCH: Ontario’s public high school teachers plan to walk off the job for one day next week if a deal isn’t reached between the province and the union. Travis Dhanraj reports.

High schools and adult learning centres under the Simcoe County District School Board will close on Wednesday, Dec. 4 if the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the province don’t reach a tentative agreement.

On Thursday, the provincial branch of the OSSTF announced its intent to proceed with a full, legal one-day walkout across Ontario on Dec. 4.

Within Simcoe County’s school board, the OSSTF represents permanent and occasional secondary teachers and continuing education instructors.

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“Should OSSTF proceed as they’ve indicated with a full one-day walkout, we wouldn’t have enough supervision in the schools, and student safety is a priority,” Sarah Kekewich, the Simcoe County District School Board’s commnications manager, told Global News.

“That would mean that our secondary school teachers and adult and teachers would be out of the classroom, and therefore, we wouldn’t have the staff in the classroom to support students.”

If teachers proceed with a one-day walk out, all out-of-school activities will be cancelled Wednesday, the Simcoe County school board says.

Grades 7 and 8 students at Elmvale District High School and Stayner Collegiate Institute will report to school.

“We have two schools within our board that they’re secondary schools, but they have grades 7 and 8 students within those schools, so they operate as elementary schools within a secondary building,” Kekewich said.

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If an agreement is reached between the province and the OSSTF, public high schools in Simcoe County will remain open on Wednesday.

Elementary schools in Simcoe County are set to remain open on Wednesday.

“What we will be doing is updating families as we learn more information, and we’re keeping information up to date on our public website,” Kekewich said.

“We would encourage people to continue to check back there, and as we receive information, we will provide updates.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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