OTTAWA -- The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is warning of escalating strike action next week if they and the Province don’t get back to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal by Friday.

In a press release, ETFO says they’re already planning a third week of walkouts, which will impact several local boards and also includes a one-day strike by all 83,000 members in Ontario on Feb. 6.

“From ETFO’s perspective, fair contract talks must include: appropriate funding for Special Education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining our internationally recognized Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation,” ETFO President Sam Hammond said in the release. “I challenge the minister to send his negotiators back to the table to address these issues because in four months of talks from August through December 2019, his negotiators had no mandate to discuss them.”

In a statement on Monday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said, "Teacher union leaders once again are breaking their promise to parents as they proceed with a full one-day withdrawal of services, province-wide. The consequences of union-led escalation are real, as families are forced to find childcare on short notice."

The schedule for rotating strikes includes a walkout in the Renfrew County District School Board on Monday, February 3; a strike in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, and the Upper Canada District School Board on Wednesday, February 5; and a strike in the Limestone District School Board on February 7.

This week, ETFO employees will walk out in the UCDSB and the Limestone Board on Wednesday, January 29.