Teachers at the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) are gearing up for another one day strike.

The conflict is between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) and the Ontario government. The two sides have been negotiating over the past few months.

“We’ve been trying to negotiate for five months,” Hodgson said to MyWestNipissingNow.com’s Rocco Frangione at the outset of this past week’s one day strike. “And they (the Ford government) have done nothing at the table.  They have pushed us into this situation.  They have stalled and delayed all along.”

This coming Wednesday, job action is being held in “selected locations” across the province. Although the labour dispute is only between the province and high school teachers, the Near North board closed all of its schools for the last day-long strike, as OSSTF also represents Early Childhood Educators (ECE) and Educational Assistants (EA).

Hodgson adds the Near North board’s decision to also close the elementary schools shows just how important those support staff are to the schools.

Hodgson says the high school teachers want a fair deal that also protects the public education system. He says the results from the government’s recent public consultations on education also show that parents oppose increased class size and e-learning.

“All the things the government is trying to force on us are not only the things we reject, but it’s also the things parents across the province have rejected,” Hodgson explained. “And the government’s continued desire to push this shows they’re not interested in supporting students or listening to parents or the teachers.  All they seem interested in doing is holding press conferences rather than sitting down and actually getting on with negotiations.”

“Our resolve is strong and we are not going to be backing down until we are sure we can protect our public education system and we’ll do whatever it takes to do that,” he continued.