Teachers in Ontario’s French-language system vote 97 per cent for strike

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TORONTO — Ontario teachers in the French-language school system have voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike.

Union president Remi Sabourin says the result shows Franco-Ontarian teachers are determined to defend their rights.

He says two major obstacles to an agreement are the government plans to increase class sizes and impose mandatory e-learning requirements.

Sabourin says for the government it’s all about money, but forcing students to take online courses and eliminating teaching positions is not a solution.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he’s disappointed the union is taking another step toward a strike, which he says would cause disruption for students and parents.

The French teachers’ union has bargaining dates scheduled in January and no immediate strike plans.

Contract talks between all four major teachers’ unions and the government have become contentious. High school teachers have staged three one-day strikes, elementary teachers are on a work-to-rule campaign, and Catholic teachers will be in a legal strike position as of Saturday.

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