English public schools right across Ontario were empty today.  All of the teachers were on a one-day strike, demanding that the province get back to the contract bargaining table.

In Kapuskasing teachers were on the circle again using that as a neutral location for support. The teachers said they’ve been happy with the support they received while walking around the circle.

Meanwhile, Elementary Teachers Federation first vice-president Karen Campbell was in Timmins.  She won’t comment on when the union will escalate to a full-scale strike.

“We’ve told the government we’re ready, we’re prepared to bargain,”  she said. “We don’t want to escalate, but if the government is not moving on their position, we have to put pressure and that’s part of the bargaining process.”

The two sides haven’t met in five weeks.

Education minister Stephen Lecce accuses the teachers’ unions of breaking their promise not to have any impact on student learning.  He points to cancellation of standardized testing and the withdrawal of supervision for extra-curricular activities.