The Conservatives’ failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic was underscored by today’s temporary paid sick leave announcement. After months spent shirking responsibility, today, the Ford government delivered a hastily developed plan that delivers another half-measure.
Three days of paid sick time, administered through the already overburdened Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, is nowhere near what is needed to save lives. It continues to leave occasional educators and other education workers, who have worked without paid sick leave through the pandemic, unprotected.
This is the same government that moved quickly to eliminate paid sick days from all Ontario workers soon after taking office. The plan they announced today does not undo the harm they did by taking these away in October 2018.
Educators, front-line workers, advocates and the province’s own advisory table have been asking for a robust paid sick leave program for over a year. Repeatedly, the Ford government dismissed these calls, deferring responsibility to the federal government, and shamefully voting against paid sick leave 21 times.
Educators have seen how the pandemic has affected students, particularly those with family members they live with who work front-line jobs. They have watched families struggle because of the lack of legislated, employer-paid sick days.
Like their inadequate vaccine rollout, they rushed to deliver a half-baked plan that underserves Ontarians. Countless lives could have been saved if the Ford government had truly done everything they could to implement a comprehensive paid sick leave plan.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by yesterday’s shootings in Atlanta. We acknowledge the sadness and trauma this has caused members of the Asian community, both locally and internationally, and stand in solidarity with all Asian Canadians during this tragic time.
Most of the victims were Asian women–their identities underscore the alarming increase of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fatal impact of misogyny. Yesterday’s events epitomize the worst form of anti-Asian violence, and are symptomatic of both historical and contemporary forms of anti-Asian racism.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is deeply concerned about the increasing levels of hate and violence perpetrated against women, Asian communities, and people of Asian descent. This has affected the health, well-being and safety of the educators, students, families and communities we serve. We call on ETFO members and the public to denounce anti-Asian racism and misogyny in all its forms, and to take action within schools and communities.
The resurfacing of anti-Asian discrimination has deep historical, systemic and colonial roots in this country. We must continue to raise awareness, and confront and push for action to eliminate anti-Asian racism and violence.
Last month, ETFO and the Toronto District School Board launched Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators, which provides a foundation for reflection, discussion and social justice action. This resource centres Indigeneity and Black lives as a necessity to addressing anti-Asian racism and the fight against white supremacy and colonialism. ETFO encourages everyone to review the resource for strategies and tools that move us to more inclusive, anti-oppressive spaces.
If you experience or witness racism during the pandemic, report it at Fight COVID Racism 698. This platform tracks anti-Asian racism and xenophobia in Canada with the aim of validating experiences and using the data to inform efforts to dismantle anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. You can also find resources and supports on etfo.ca.
Consider getting involved with the provincial union by applying to an ETFO Standing Committee.
Serving on a committee will provide you with the opportunity to share your expertise and to have a voice on Federation issues related to provincial policies, positions, programs, and initiatives.
ETFO has released a new video to celebrate 10 years of Full-Day Kindergarten in Ontario. This is an important milestone for our members and this video recognizes and celebrates this important event.
Ontario’s Kindergarten program was designed by education experts, and it has proven to be a successful learning program, a model for other jurisdictions to follow, and a fundamental piece of our world-class education system.
ETFO is looking for an occasional teacher to contribute bi-weekly to its Heart and Art Blog until June 2021.
The Heart and Art of Teaching and Learning web resource is designed to support new teachers as they progress through the school year. Blog posts touch on relevant issues in teaching and learning. For further information view this flyer.
The application window is now closed.
The application form for Project Overseas 2021 is now closed.
Since 1962, Project Overseas has assisted teacher organizations in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Caribbean. This is a voluntary position that is financially supported by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). Each year, 16 ETFO members are selected to participate in Project Overseas.
ETFO members who are selected to participate in Project Overseas present professional learning workshops to teachers in host countries. In July, participants attend CTF’s training in Ottawa prior to their international placements which typically last between three to five weeks.
For more information about Project Overseas and to access the application form, visit the Project Overseas 2021 webpage on ETFO’s website