Labour Update week of March 16-20

Limestone Learning Foundation
Labour Update week of March 16-20
Posted on 03/18/2020
Image of Labour Update graphic
Effective March 18, 2020, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) is immediately suspending all strike sanctions indefinitely.

This includes sanctions that were part of a limited withdrawal of administrative services that has been in place since November 26, 2019. OSSTF had previously announced that rotating full withdrawals of services would be suspended until March 27. That suspension is now also indefinite.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced Phase 7 Strike protocol has begun, effective March 9, 2020. Phase 7 is in addition to the work-to-rule job action previously announced and focuses on political action. If a deal is not reached, rotating strikes will continue. ETFO will continue to provide five days notice of any strike action. 

Elementary IEPs

Please note this message is intended for families with students who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

An IEP is created for all exceptional students identified through an Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) meeting and may also be developed for non-exceptional students when it has been determined that they will benefit from an individualized program. The IEP demonstrates a commitment to provide special education programs and services that are available within Limestone and are deemed necessary to meet the needs of the student.

Typically, within 30 days of the start of term 2, schools review term 1 IEPs, make necessary changes and send a copy of the term 2 IEP home to parents/guardians. Elementary classroom teachers (and sometimes student support teachers) are responsible for revising, printing and sending the IEP home.

As you know, some regular activities have been suspended or altered due to provincial labour action. Teachers will continue to revise and implement IEPs in the classroom. Due to current work-to-rule limitations by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), teachers will not print or send home IEPs. Further, Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) office staff will not participate in taking on work struck by another union.

Due to the volume of duties now transferred to administrators as a result of work-to-rule action, they cannot take on the added duty of printing term 2 IEPs and sending them home with students.

If a new IEP is developed in term 2 for a student who has not previously had an IEP, school administrators will print this IEP and send it home to parents/guardians within the 30-day timeframe. New IEPs will be sent home on March 27 (strike days are not counted as school days). We expect this will be an infrequent occurrence.

The process related to IEPs is not affected at the secondary level (Grade 9-12) at this time.

Elementary Report Cards

As shared earlier, elementary students will not be issued term one report cards due to the ongoing provincial labour disruption by members of ETFO.

We know families are disappointed with the absence of mid-year report cards which are normally scheduled for February. Teachers are continuing to evaluate and assess students but will not be entering marks and/or learning skills electronically. It is important to remember that report cards are not the sole record of achievement data for your child. Ongoing and regular communication between teachers and families occurs throughout the year. As always, parents and guardians can contact their child’s teacher to discuss their progress, or concerns.

It was a difficult decision not to issue term-one report cards; however, during job action it is not business as usual in our schools. Although elementary teachers have submitted marks to administrators, school administrators cannot enter or communicate marks for every student on behalf of every teacher.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this time of labour action. We are hopeful that the parties at the central table are able to reach an agreement soon.

The Board will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.