ETFO statement on right to engage in peaceful protest

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO):

“ETFO stands with those who are exercising their right to engage in peaceful protest. As a labour organization, we recognize the historic and present power that non violent demonstrations rooted in justice have in our society. The right to protest is intertwined with the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, which must be protected. These rights and freedoms are essential to democratic societies.

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ETFO responds to Cabinet shuffle

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on today’s Cabinet shuffle:

“ETFO welcomes Todd Smith as the new Minister of Education. We look forward to working collaboratively to rebuild and strengthen our public education system after several challenging years of budget cuts and policies that have not prioritized the best interests of Ontario’s students and education workers.

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ETFO celebrates Pride Month, strongly denounces anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate and violence

TORONTO, ON – To mark the beginning of Pride Month, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) stands in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQ+ community and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to fostering safe, inclusive, and supportive environments for its members, students, and individuals in the community who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

Instances of transphobic and homophobic hate and violence are disturbingly common across the province. ETFO calls on all levels of government to work together with allies to ensure a future where everyone can live authentically and free from discrimination.

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Arbitration award decision issued on compensation for ETFO teachers, occasional teachers

TORONTO, ON – In December 2023, teacher and occasional teacher (OT) members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) ratified a central agreement that included the referral of compensation (salary and daily OT rate) to binding arbitration; the hearing was held on April 17. Today, the Arbitration Board, chaired by William Kaplan, issued its decision.

The Arbitration Board awarded ETFO’s 80,000 teacher and OT members salary increases of 11.25 per cent over the term of the 2022-2026 collective agreement—an 11.73 per cent increase when compounded over the four years. This represents increases of three per cent for 2022-23, three per cent for 2023-24, 2.75 per cent for 2024-25, and 2.5 per cent for 2025-26. The compensation award applies to salary grids, wage schedules, applicable premiums and allowances, and the daily OT rate, and represents the highest increase over the term of an agreement in over a decade.

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ETFO calls on trustees to reject cuts to student programs services caused by Ford government

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) calling on public school board trustees across Ontario to reject cuts to student services and programs that are a direct result of the Ford government’s chronic underfunding of public education:

“Faced with increased costs due to inflation and inadequate provincial funding, school boards across Ontario are again being asked to do more with less. This means possible cuts to valuable student programs and services as trustees seek to balance their budgets. In many cases, these services support our most vulnerable students, including those with special education needs, Indigenous and racialized students, and English language learners.

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ETFO files application with OLRB against Ford government for unfair labour practice

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) initiating an unfair labour practice complaint against the Conservative government as a result of the Minister of Education’s April 28 announcement of revisions to Program/Policy Memorandum (PPM) 128: The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct.

“We have begun a formal process to remind the Ford government of its legal obligation to bargain in good faith, and to respect and honour central agreements,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “The Ford government reneged on its commitments to ETFO at the central bargaining table; they simply cannot be trusted. We intend to fight these unprincipled actions—actions that, time and time again, attack workers’ rights.”

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ETFO condemns Ford government’s appeal of Bill 307 ruling, ongoing attack on democratic rights

TORONTO, ON – On May 21 and 22, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the Ford government’s appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s decision to rule Bill 307 unconstitutional and declare the offending provisions null and void. The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) condemning the government’s appeal and calling for the rights of Ontarians to meaningfully participate in the province’s democratic processes to be restored:

“In a blatant disregard for the Courts and the rights of Ontarians, the Ford government is appealing the resounding decision that declared Bill 307 unconstitutional. This is a betrayal of those who they were elected to serve, not silence.

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ETFO holds advocacy day at Queen’s Park to call for urgent action to address rising violence in schools

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is holding an advocacy day at Queen’s Park on May 14 to call for urgent action to address increasing violence in schools. ETFO local presidents from across the province are bringing our concerns on this issue directly to members of provincial parliament (MPPs).

“Rather than moving inadequate funding from one envelope to another, the Ministry of Education must reverse its cuts to school board funding and address increasing violence in schools. The safety and well-being of students and educators are non-negotiable priorities,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “The government’s lack of support for struggling students puts staff and students at unacceptable increased risk of harm.”

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Provincial code of conduct changes made after ETFO demands improvements to school safety

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) responding to today’s provincial government announcement that includes revisions to Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 128 – The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct: 

“During recent central bargaining between ETFO and the government, ETFO fought for improvements that would address increasing violence and disruption in schools – a key priority for our 83,000 members. As a result of our strong advocacy at the bargaining table, several new measures were agreed to in bargaining, including publicly facing school  signage that communicates behaviour expectations for everyone, as well as a revision of PPM 128 to address behaviour, consequences, and safety.  

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ETFO applauds National School Food Program, calls on Ford government to allocate funds efficiently

TORONTO, ON – Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s first National School Food Program. This significant federal investment of $1 billion over five years will provide meals to 400,000 more children every year, beyond those served by existing school food programs.

“By investing in this program, the federal government is demonstrating its commitment to the well-being of Canada’s youth and the nation’s prosperity,” says Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “However, for the program to be successful, the funds must be administered efficiently and effectively. Ontarians cannot afford another failed implementation by the Ford government akin to its mismanagement of federal child care funding, which led to delays and frustration.”

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