ETFO Challenges Minister Lecce to Resume Contract Talks or Rotating Strikes Will Escalate

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Press Release
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will escalate its rotating strikes across the province starting Monday, February 3 if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.

“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.

“Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”

“From ETFO’s perspective, fair contract talks must include: appropriate funding for Special Education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining our internationally recognized Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation.”

“I challenge the minister to send his negotiators back to the table to address these issues because in four months of talks from August through December 2019, his negotiators had no mandate to discuss them.”

“It’s time that the Ford government recognized that our public education system is key to the future of this province’s economy. We must have the tools and supports to prepare students to realize their individual aspirations and productively contribute to the economic and social fabric of this province,” added Hammond.

If central agreements are not reached by January 31, ETFO will escalate its rotating strikes as follows:

February 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.

February 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members. ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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