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Joint Education Union Message

The New Year brings with it optimism and excitement.

For education workers, teachers, students, and parents, this one begins with uncertainty and stress.

PDF version

January 11, 2020

Proposed changes by the Doug Ford government are having a profoundly negative impact on Ontario’s world-class education system. They are at the heart of the labour dispute between the government and Ontario’s education workers and teachers.

Over the next few years, thousands of teaching positions and education workers’ jobs will be eliminated. The impact of these losses is already being felt:

  • Students are being squeezed into larger classes at both elementary and secondary levels.
  • Students are losing the supports they need, with reductions to special education supports, mental health staff, early
    childhood educators, and educational assistants.
  • Students at the secondary level have seen entire courses eliminated or the number of classes reduced—including
    those they need for post-secondary education. Elective courses like art and music are especially at risk.
  • Students are being forced into e-learning classes. They won’t have proper supports. Many Ontario families don’t
    have a home computer for every child and sufficient Internet access for everyone’s homework needs.
  • Students entering Kindergarten are not guaranteed the same high-quality program that currently exists.

Ontario’s education workers and teachers are fighting these cuts to ensure our system meets the needs of our students.

In response, Doug Ford’s government is not telling you the truth and has launched a campaign of misinformation. They are deliberately attempting to cloud the issues with false and exaggerated claims. They have also passed legislation that directly challenges the principle of free and open negotiations.

Education workers and teachers are simply asking for the following:

  1. Cancellation of the cuts and restoration of staffing levels and class size averages to 2018–19 levels;
  2. A hold on introducing mandatory e-learning until a study can be conducted with public participation;
  3. A commitment at the bargaining table to keeping the current model for Kindergarten, which includes a teacher and
    early childhood educator, intact;
  4. A cost-of-living increase to keep up with rising food, energy, and housing prices.

It’s time the Ford government recognizes that education is an investment in the next generation and in our economy. Short-sighted cuts will do long-term damage that will take years to correct.

Education workers and teachers are fighting to maintain one of the best education systems in the world, providing future generations with the skills and ability to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

Join us in this fight.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA)