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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Fall high school sports threatened by teachers' job action

Fall high school sports threatened by teachers' job action

Posted: August 4th, 2015 @ 10:22pm


It doesn’t look promising that there will be high school sports in September.

In an unsigned July memorandum, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation instructed its members “immediately (to) cease performing any and all extra-curricular activities,” as of July 20.

That means, for instance, the union is enjoining teachers who coach teams not to undertake any preparation for scholastic sport in the fall.

“Additional central strike actions will be taken, and details about those sanctions and their timing will be outlined” at what the union describes as a leadership training conference in Ottawa in late August.

If extra-curricular services—coaching sports and supervising such things as clubs, bands, drama productions and student councils—are withdrawn, there would be no football, girls basketball, field hockey or cross-country running in the fall.

Teachers and support staff have been in contract talks with the provincial Ministry of Education and the Ontario Public School Boards Association for almost a year. Teachers went on strike in the Region of Peel, Durham and Sudbury in May.

Local teachers are also in a legal strike position.

“It has become abundantly clear that we will not be able to convince the boards and the government to remove strips and actually bargain … unless we are ready and willing to create pressure through decisive action,” the memo reads.

The union accuses the province and school boards of tabling “contract strips”—proposed changes to contracts—“that amount to an outright attack on our collective agreements, an assault on our members’ working conditions, and (are) a recipe for inferior learning conditions for our students.”

Teachers in the Limestone District School Board last worked to rule in the winter of 2012-13, cancelling the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association seasons for hockey, boys basketball and girls volleyball. At the time, teachers in Catholic board schools did not withdraw services, and teams from those schools continued to compete wherever they could find competition.

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