Wednesday is here and without any new collective agreement in place, all schools across the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) will be closed for the day.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced last week that without a deal in place, teachers and union workers would be participating in a one day strike.

The decision by the teachers’ union to strike on Wednesday is forcing the Near North board to close all its high schools as well as elementary schools.

Although the labour dispute is only between the province and high school teachers, the Near North board says it has no choice but to also close the elementary schools on Wednesday. The board says it’s because Early Childhood Educators (ECE) and Educational Assistants (EA) are represented in the bargaining unit by the high school teachers union.

The board adds this “will create significant safety concerns in that the Board will not be in the position to provide the required supervision to students.”

Glen Hodgson, the President of District Four of the OSSTF, which represents teachers at the NNDSB acknowledges Wednesday’s one-day strike will frustrate some parents but believes they understand that the teachers are trying to protect public education.

“I believe our position represents a majority of parents of this province,” he said. “What they know and what they want is a strong public education system and they want us to stand up for that.”

The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic School Board says they will remain open and will operate as usual as staff members are not a part of the OSSTF. Same goes for Conseil scolaire de district catholique Franco-Nord.

Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario, have not indicated if they will be open or closed.