Bill 124 an unconstitutional attack on public sector workers that must be retroactively repealed

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) strongly believes Bill 124 circumvents the legal framework for negotiations set out by the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, which requires parties to engage in good faith bargaining. It is a clear violation of ETFO members’ freedom of expression and association guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Ford government misses opportunity to make much-needed investments in public education

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is disappointed that the budget reintroduced today does not include any new investments in public education. In addition, by choosing to redirect funding away from publicly funded schools, the Ford government has chosen a path toward privatization over funding that creates lower class sizes and delivers in-school support for students with special education needs.

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Statement from ETFO President Karen Brown

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

“Since the start of the summer, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has repeatedly tried to create a crisis where none exists. At a time when educators should be focused on recharging after a stressful school year, they are instead exposed to media interviews where his goals seem to be agitation and division. Educators deserve to be uplifted not targeted.

Put simply, Minister Lecce is needlessly engaged in fear-mongering.

ETFO members will be in schools when they re-open for the 2022-2023 school year. Like the students they serve, educators are looking forward to a stable and safe return to in-person learning. It’s what everyone deserves—students, families and education workers.

As is our usual practice, ETFO is in the process of establishing bargaining dates and is preparing to engage in its regular central bargaining process with government and school board representatives.

If Minister Lecce is truly committed to doing what’s in students’ best interests, he must work to restore positive working relationships with all education stakeholders. This begins by valuing the expertise of education professionals, and respecting their professionalism and professional judgment. A genuine commitment is needed to ensure stability and a public education system that supports, uplifts, and celebrates every student.”

ETFO represents approximately 83,000 members, including public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel. Visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca.

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ETFO statement on re-appointment of MPP Stephen Lecce as education minister

TORONTO, ON – Today’s re-appointment of Member of Provincial Parliament Stephen Lecce as Minister of Education is not surprising given that one of the biggest challenges the provincial government faces is bargaining with education workers.

While experience matters, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) believes it is more important to have an education minister who values the role of educators, believes public education should be protected through adequate investment, and works collaboratively with education partners to ensure every child achieves to their full potential.

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ETFO calls on re-elected PC government to change its approach, invest in public education

TORONTO, ON – Following the re-election of the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is ready to work with the provincial government and opposition parties, but will remain vigilant in its advocacy to protect public education and defend its members’ rights.

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Statement on tragedy in Uvalde, Texas

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the heartbreaking loss of life of 19 schoolchildren and two adults in Uvalde, Texas. But thoughts are not enough, words are not enough, and statements without actions are not enough.

When will those in power prioritize human lives over politics? What will it take for lawmakers to do what is right, just and good for all of their citizens?

Schools are supposed to be places where children and those who support them feel safe and cared for. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario joins the chorus of many calling for politicians to take urgent action to ensure another school community never has to experience a similar tragedy.

Our deepest condolences to all affected by this terrible act of violence.

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Premier must take immediate action on Minister Lecce’s participation in slave auction fundraiser

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is calling on Premier Ford to immediately address a PressProgress report that found Minister of Education Stephen Lecce engaged in deplorable anti-Black racist behaviour during his time as a fraternity leader at Western University. His participation in a slave auction fundraiser raises serious concerns about the minister’s understanding of anti-Black racism, and his ability to serve and support students, education workers, and families, particularly those who identify as Black.

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Education Week highlights need to protect public education

TORONTO, ON – Education Week, which takes place annually during the first week of May, is a time to recognize the many successes occurring in public elementary schools across Ontario. It also serves as a reminder that public education is worth protecting given the invaluable role it plays in society.

On this first day of Education Week, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) celebrates the above-and-beyond efforts of students, educators and other education workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and urges Ontarians to elect a government that is committed to ensuring our public school system remains one of the best in the world.

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Ontario budget does not repair damage done to education over last four years

TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s world-class public education system is worth protecting. To do that, Ontarians must elect a provincial government that is willing to make the necessary investments to support it. Unfortunately, the Ford government demonstrated, again today through its budget, that they are not genuinely committed to strengthening public education in Ontario.

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ETFO Urges Government to Reintroduce Mask Mandates for Schools

TORONTO, ON – ETFO has expressed concerns that lifting the mask mandate too soon may result in further disruption to in-person learning and negative impacts on the health and safety of ETFO members, students, and their families. We are now seeing significant disruption in schools due to the spread of COVID-19.

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