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Student safety and learning needs a higher priority than pandemic pay to principals

November 05, 2020

Toronto, ON – Rather than give additional pandemic pay to principals and vice-principals, school boards should instead spend those funds on classroom safety and student supports, says the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“School boards have been hard-pressed to devote scarce funds to ensure students have a safe environment and the education support and instruction they need,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond.
“Along with school administrators, educators have also continued to meet unprecedented demands related to the health and safety of students and extensive preparations for in-class and virtual instruction. Rather than favour one group at the expense of the other, boards should devote this funding to the benefit of students.”
Along with the Toronto District School Board’s payment of $2.4 million, the Durham and Hamilton-Wentworth school boards have also compensated their principals and vice-principals for additional pandemic-related work.
Hammond said the chaos caused by the Ford government’s flawed and underfunded return to school plan has caused wild fluctuations in how both face-to-face and distance learning is provided to students, creating additional work for both educators and administrators. 
“These changes have added long, long hours to the educators’ day. We are seeing a great increase in anxiety, sleeplessness and burnout among our members as they strive to provide quality instruction and support for their students,” added Hammond. 
“While we don’t begrudge recognition for principals and vice-principals for their work in a chaotic return to school, it is demoralizing for the extraordinary efforts of our educators during this pandemic to go unrecognized.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at
For more information, contact:
Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations, CELL: 416-948-0195,  @etfomedia