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Ontario high school teachers' union suspends strikes indefinitely

The union says it's making the move out of an abundance of caution
2020-03-05 Orillia teachers strike 3
Jen Hare, District 17 bargaining unit president with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, addresses the crowd. Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters

TORONTO — The union representing the province's public high school teachers says it is suspending all of its strike sanctions indefinitely.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation says today it will halt all rotating walk-outs and work-to-rule job action because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The union says it's making the move out of an abundance of caution and to avoid any miscommunication during the pandemic.

OSSTF members have been without a contract since last summer and have been engaged in contentious negotiations with the government.

The decision comes after the Ontario government closed all public schools until April 5 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government says it does not currently have any dates scheduled to meet with OSSTF.

On Friday, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association said it had reached a tentative contract agreement with the government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 17, 2020

The Canadian Press