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Strikes to close Catholic, public schools

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TORONTO—Catholic schools across Ontario are closed today, as will public high schools and elementary schools in several boards, including the Rainy River District School Board.

The union representing Catholic teachers held a one-day province-wide strike today, while the other two unions are engaged in rotating strikes.

All three unions, as well as the one representing teachers in the French system, say they are frustrated with a lack of progress in contract negotiations with the provincial government.

The unions say class size increases and the introduction of mandatory e-learning courses are among the sticking points, but Education Minister Stephen Lecce says compensation is the main barrier.

Other boards targeted today by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation included the Toronto District School Board, Simcoe County District School Board, Near North District School Board, Grand Erie District School Board, Trillium Lakelands District School Board and Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is also striking at the Grand Erie and Trillium Lakelands boards, as well as the Renfrew County District School Board and the Superior-Greenstone District School Board.

Last week, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that the government would be paying up to $60 to parents whose children will be affected by the strikes.

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