Thursday, February 13 was a strike day for students French-language public and Catholic schools across the region. In Hawkesbury that morning, teachers who are members of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) picketed at the intersection of McGill Street and Spence Avenue. Teacher Yann Mathieu said they are staff members at École secondaire catholique régional de Hawkesbury and at École élémentaire publique Nouvel Horizon.

The strike is a part of a series of one-day walkouts teachers have been staging across the province amid difficult labour negotiations between their unions and the Ministry of Education. A one-day, province-wide general strike of all teacher’s unions in all public schools has been scheduled for February 21.

Wages, class sizes, online courses, and educational assistant positions are the main issues in the ongoing labour negotiations.

On February 12, Education Minister Stephen Lecce called on the province’s four main teacher’s unions to accept private mediation and end what he called “needless escalation.”