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.
Over the past four years, education unions and other partners have been excluded from critical ministry decision-making processes that impact students and education workers in Ontario. Moving forward, ETFO is hoping to see a change in approach.
Minister Lecce and staff in the Ministry of Education 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 urges the government to listen to the majority of Ontarians who voted for more support for and investment in public education. As we work to ensure a just post-pandemic recovery, let us do so collaboratively to ensure the public education system in Ontario is free from further cuts and chaos.
As we head into bargaining, it is imperative that Minister Lecce provide ETFO members with the respect they deserve. ETFO is ready to work with this government to improve public education, but we are also fully prepared to challenge it, if necessary, to secure the funding, support and resources students need. ETFO also remains vigilant in its
advocacy to defend its members’ rights.
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.