ETFO responds to Premier Ford’s comments that put 2SLGBTQ+ students at risk

This past weekend, Premier Doug Ford made it clear that he has no idea what “school boards actually do” when he dismissed their law-abiding efforts to protect 2SLGBTQ+ students’ rights. In an attempt to deflect from the ongoing Greenbelt scandal, he made dangerous, inflammatory remarks that put students, educators, and others at risk of great harm.

In a perfect climate, all students go home to a safe and supportive environment, but we know this isn’t the case for all. Teachers and other education workers work every single day to ensure the safety of all students in schools across the province. Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) members work each day to ensure quality public education that may include resources that support 2SLGTBQ+ students and their families.

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ETFO files for conciliation in effort to reach fair agreements

TORONTO, ON – Given the unacceptably slow pace of bargaining, earlier today the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) advised school board agency and government representatives that the Federation would be applying for conciliation with the Minister of Labour for its two central tables – teacher/occasional teacher and education worker.

“Over the past year, ETFO’s central bargaining team has attempted to resolve key issues to secure a fair deal for its teacher, occasional teacher, and education worker members. But after a full year of bargaining without sufficient progress and negotiations at a standstill, the Federation is filing for conciliation,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “Our members have been incredibly patient, but their patience has run out.”

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ETFO to hold central strike votes at all-member meetings

TORONTO, ON – Given the lack of sufficient progress being made at the central bargaining table, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will hold in-person meetings to conduct central strike votes and address bargaining issues. These all-member meetings will be held across the province from mid-September to mid-October.

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ETFO celebrates 25th anniversary at its Annual Meeting from August 14 to 17

TORONTO, ON – Close to 700 public elementary educators will attend the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) between August 14 and 17, 2023, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

ETFO’s first annual meeting was held 25 years ago in 1998. At that meeting, ETFO was formed—a new union that brought together the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Teachers’ Federation. Since its formation, ETFO has been able to win many improvements in working conditions, defend members’ rights, make equity and social justice a key priority, and protect public education.

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ETFO files unfair labour practice complaint against Ford government for failing to bargain in good faith

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board against the government over its refusal to bargain in good faith.

ETFO’s complaint, filed on August 8, 2023, cites that the government violated its obligation under bargaining legislation to negotiate in good faith when on July 28, 2023, it released Program/Policy Memorandum 168: Reading Instruction and Early Reading Screening (PPM 168).

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Joint Statement: Ford Conservative government policy fails students, undermines collective bargaining, and threatens to contravene collective agreements

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), the unions representing more than 125,000 teachers and education workers in publicly funded schools across Ontario, have released the following statement in response to the new Policy/Program Memorandum 168 – Reading Instruction and Early Reading Screening (PPM 168), which was released Friday without notice by the Ford Conservative government.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has repeatedly claimed that “stability is critical to Ontario students,” but his government continues to introduce sweeping changes without providing the necessary time and resources for proper implementation. These changes will violate collective agreements when the new requirements mandated through policy memorandum are implemented, ignoring the collective bargaining rights of the professionals who care for and teach students across Ontario.

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Emancipation Day an opportunity to commit to eliminating anti-Black racism

The Canadian House of Commons designated August 1 as Emancipation Day in 2021. This day commemorates the enactment of the Slavery Abolition Act across British colonies in 1834 and serves as an important reminder that slavery was once part of Canadian society.

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Rushed Language curriculum implementation will not improve student outcomes

TORONTO, ON – Changes to the updated Language curriculum are substantial, especially in the areas of reading and media literacy. In addition, the Language curriculum is no longer organized under the strands of Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, and Media Literacy.

These changes are significant and educators need sufficient time, dedicated resources, and sustained professional learning opportunities to properly implement any new or revised curriculum. To support this, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is calling for a minimum two-year implementation period.

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Ford government’s appeal of Bill 124 ruling a roadblock to negotiated agreements

TORONTO, ON – In November 2022, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and other unions won a major victory at the Ontario Court of Justice when Justice Markus Koehnen ruled that Bill 124, which capped wage increases for public sector employees at one per cent annually for three years, infringed upon union members’ right to freedom of association under the Charter. Instead of accepting the court’s decision, the Ford government pressed forward with an appeal that is being heard this week.

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ETFO responds to passing of Bill 98, The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on Bill 98, The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act:

“Earlier today, despite strong opposition from education stakeholders, the Ontario government pushed through legislation that sets public education back decades, undermines student outcomes, diminishes accountability and transparency, and lays the groundwork for further privatization of public education.

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