All schools in the area will be closed Friday to students.

The four unions representing teachers across the province, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontarien (AEFO) are currently embroiled in a labour standstill with the provincial government.

Because of a breakdown in talks, the four unions are banding together right across Ontario for a one-day withdrawal of services. The unions represent almost 200,000 teachers and education workers, affecting 72 school boards and 5,000 schools.

ETFO president Sam Hammond accuses the government of not addressing critical issues, making a sham of contract talks that have been taking place sporadically for seven months now.

Harvey Bischof of the OSSTF says by proposing to add mandatory e-learning, the province wants to lay the groundwork for private interests to benefit from education.

OECTA and the province have been back at the table recently, but the union will still strike should a deal not be in place Friday morning. OECTA has also announced one-day strike action for next Tuesday if the dispute is still not resolved.

Schools are expected to reopen Monday.