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Canada New glitches emerge in Ontario's teacher strike payment system

13:46  27 february  2020
13:46  27 february  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

What you should know about this week's teacher strikes

  What you should know about this week's teacher strikes Over two million students will be out of class this Friday as Ontario's four largest teacher unions plan to hold a joint one-day strike if there is no progress in contract talks with the provincial government. The unions that will participate in Friday's strike are the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO). Classes are also cancelled on Monday for Family Day.

Ontario ' s fourth-largest teachers union, representing teachers in the French-language system " New teacher college graduates cannot be considered for permanent teaching positions even when Mike Crawley is provincial affairs reporter in Ontario for CBC News. He has won awards for his

Strike pay makes picketing days less financially painful for teachers , and the unions' strike funds are deep enough to sustain further walkouts. He has won awards for his reporting on the eHealth spending scandal and flaws in Ontario ' s welfare- payment computer system .

a group of people holding a sign: Ontario's Ministry of Education's has rejected some parents' applications for funding to compensate for school days lost to teacher strikes, even though their children are eligible for the payments. © Michael Wilson/CBC Ontario's Ministry of Education's has rejected some parents' applications for funding to compensate for school days lost to teacher strikes, even though their children are eligible for the payments.

Ontario parents are reporting new problems with the Ministry of Education's payments for school days lost to teacher strikes, including applications being rejected for unknown reasons.

The province has sent emails telling parents their children's information "could not be verified," even though their children are actually eligible for the payments.

The Ford government is offering parents $25 or more per child for each day their school is shut down as a result of the ongoing labour dispute with the province's four teachers' unions. The money comes from the wages that teachers and education workers forego each day they strike.

Entire Ontario public school system closed, millions out of class Friday as teachers strike

  Entire Ontario public school system closed, millions out of class Friday as teachers strike In Toronto, educators are planning a massive protest at Queen's Park, which the unions say may draw as many as 30,000 people. READ MORE: Ontario teachers plan huge protest at Queen’s Park for joint provincewide strike Security at the legislature is bracing for a huge crowd, with road closures planned around the building. In Peel Region, the four unions are planning a mass 30-kilometre picket from Caledon to the lakeshore in Mississauga. Education Minister Stephen Lecce criticized the planned walkout and said the unions should ensure students remain in class.

The unions representing Ontario ' s teachers are in bargaining with the government of Premier Doug Ford and the province's school boards. Here's the latest on the status of each union's province-wide contract negotiations, including when each union would be legally allowed to strike .

1:44 Ontario Secondary School Teachers ’ Union vote in favour of strike . Harvey Bischof, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers ' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), announced on Monday that the union has voted 92% in favour of strike action, saying they are ready to defend Ontario ’ s quality

Parents apply via a website, by entering their child's name, school board and school, along with their own address and contact information. However, multiple parents have CBC News their applications for funding were inexplicably rejected.

"The information you provided on your child could not be verified against our Ministry records," read rejection emails parents shared with CBC News. "We have removed your application from the system so that you can submit another application."

a man reading a book shelf: Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced in January that parents will be eligible for $25 to $60 per child for each day their school or school-based day care is shut down as a result of a strike by any of the province's four teachers' unions. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced in January that parents will be eligible for $25 to $60 per child for each day their school or school-based day care is shut down as a result of a strike by any of the province's four teachers' unions.

"It's really frustrating because they played it up that this was going to be an easy process," said an Oakville mother whose kids attend the French-language Viamonde school board.

We're part of rotating strikes too, say support staff

  We're part of rotating strikes too, say support staff Richard Brown, chief custodian at Cairine Wilson Secondary School in Orléans, says school support staff are often overshadowed by their teacher colleagues when it comes to conversations about the strikes. Education workers and support staff, in fact, make up more than a quarter of the people holding signs for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)."I have a lot of colleagues that [only] make $14 an hour," Brown told Ottawa Morning Friday.The teachers' unions are asking for approximately two per cent in annual salary increases.

The Ontario Teachers ' Pension Plan Board ( Ontario Teachers '; French: Régime de retraite des enseignantes et des enseignants de l' Ontario or RREO)

Ontario educations workers anticipate ‘stressful situation’ if full strike action taken. When drilled as to whether kids in full-day kindergarten or children with special needs will have to stay home Monday if a strike should happen, Lecce said it is his “hope and expectation” that the safety of children will never

She has not received payments for two of her five eligible children, and the email she received does not indicate which children's applications were rejected. CBC News agreed not to name her to protect the identity of her children, and that of her husband, who is a provincial employee.

"Being approved for three but not for two, and not telling me where I made the mistake, is really frustrating, the mother said in an interview Wednesday. "How at this point do I know if I'm doing it properly and if I'll ever get the money that has been promised?"

More than 756,000 applications have been made for the financial support program, according to an education ministry spokesperson.

"Rejections occur when the information submitted in the application does not match ministry records," said spokesperson Ingrid Anderson in an email to CBC News.

"Parents are encouraged to check with their child's school to verify the information they have on file and ensure it matches the information in their application."

OECTA suspends rotating one-day strikes and returns to bargaining table

  OECTA suspends rotating one-day strikes and returns to bargaining table The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), says it’s suspending a series of rotating strikes planned for next week and will head back to the bargaining table with the province. Earlier this week OCETA had announced it would be holding rotating one-day strikes in dozens of school boards next week.The union issued a statement late Friday, saying the mediator has called the parties back to the table on Monday, Feb. 24,  and OECTA has "been assured that the discussions will be meaningful.

Ontario Teachers Strike . Ontario Reaches Agreement In Principle With Support Staff. Wynne More Hopeful About New Contract With Teachers . All Ontario Catholic Schools Closed Tuesday As Teachers Strike .

The president of Ontario ' s elementary teachers ' union says if there is no deal with the government in two weeks they will start more job action — and he The elementary teachers and education workers have been engaging in rotating strikes , but Hammond says over the next two weeks his members will

a group of people walking in front of a crowd: Members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association demonstrate at Queen's Park during the province-wide strike by all four teachers unions. © Paul Smith/CBC Members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association demonstrate at Queen's Park during the province-wide strike by all four teachers unions.

Anderson could not say how many applications had been rejected on those grounds, nor how much has been paid out by the government so far.

The rejection emails encourage parents to phone a toll-free helpline if they have any questions. However, the line was experiencing such heavy call volumes Wednesday that it was frequently impossible to get through, with the line ringing busy.

Those who do get through are greeted with a recorded message. "If you are calling for details regarding your application or payment status, please note that our staff are unable to access personal information or payment-specific information," the message says.

It goes on to tell callers that hotline operates will relay their inquiries by email to ministry staff, who will investigate and respond.

The helpline handled 1,600 calls on Tuesday, said the ministry spokesperson.

I'm An Ontario Teacher But I Chose To Go Where Teachers Are Respected .
“One of my kids threw a chair today.” “My kid locked himself in the classroom at lunch and then threatened to run away.” “A parent told me I should have noticed the signs of her daughter wanting to self-harm.” It was 2018, and my college classmates and I were swapping horror stories as the final year of our teacher’s program came to a close. Tales like ours were the norm — 70 per cent of educators see or experience similar situations in their classroom — so I would often think of the teachers I’d admired in my youth and wonder, “Were we this difficult for them?” © Provided by HuffPost Canada My first day of school as a teacher.

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