Ontario education workers united against government cutsTORONTO, ON – Apr 03 2019 — Teachers and education workers in Ontario have formed a common front to defend a strong publicly funded education system that is of high-quality and accessible to all.
With a united voice, five unions representing workers in every school board in Ontario have said, “The cuts being made to the education budget will have devastating effects on student well-being and achievement.”
Collectively the unions urged the government to re-think plans proposed for education in Ontario, including: increasing class size, introducing mandatory e-learning and cutting funding to vital programs for student supports in schools.
The joint statement outlined common values and solidified a commitment to work together to ensure the following seven principles:
As a first act of unity, this common front has organized a public Rally for Education this Saturday, April 6 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.at Queen’s Park. The rally, held in advance of the provincial budget, will call upon the government to make investments not cuts to publicly funded education.
All of the organizations expressed that this is an important time to come together to defend high-quality, publicly funded education in Ontario. “Together, we are sending a united message to Ford to stop the cuts to education.”
For more information, please contact, any of the following media relations representatives:
AEFO – Marilyne Guevremont at 613-850-6410 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
CUPE – Mary Unan at 647-390-9839 or via email at email@example.com
ETFO – Valerie Dugale at 416-948-0195 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
OECTA – Michelle Despault at 416-925-2493, ext. 509 or via email at email@example.com
OSSTF/FEESO – Paul Kossta at 416-737-5370 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 15, 2019 — This morning the Minister of Education announced a number of devastating changes to Ontario’s education system, many of which will have a direct negative impact on OSSTF/FESSO members and the students they work with every day.
Most significantly, average class size ratios in secondary schools will rise from 22:1 to 28:1. Phased in over four years, this will result in a loss of 3,630 frontline OSSTF/FEESO teachers from Ontario’s public education system – a loss that cannot possibly be absorbed without a significant impact on student learning and success. This comes at a time when higher needs ASD students will be returning to the classroom on April 1 because of the government's ill-conceived changes to the Ontario Autism Program. And of course, these students are far from the only special needs students OSSTF/FEESO members are dedicated to supporting on a daily basis.
This move is accompanied by a number of other distressing changes, including a reduction of 12.91 percent of the Pupil Foundation grant over four years and a reduction of 5.88 percent to the overall GSN over the same period, a reduction that will remove 1.4 billion dollars from Ontario’s public education system.
These moves, along with other measures announced today, amount to an appalling betrayal of the public trust. Not only do they make a mockery of the claim that there is fat to cut in Ontario's public education system, but given the premier’s repeated election promises that no jobs will be lost, the government quite simply has no mandate to make the changes they have announced this morning.
With these announcements, the government has declared war on Ontario’s public education system, and OSSTF/FEESO’s response in defence of that system will be commensurate.
March 7, 2019 — OSSTF/FEESO is one of five educational workers’ unions that have released a joint statement strongly urging the government to rethink its reckless approach to the Ontario Autism Program and put the needs of children first.
The statement calls upon the government to take swift action to:
• Ensure that the necessary supports and direct, public and not-for-profit services are in place for children with autism in Ontario.
• Immediately institute more school-based supports for children, including funded training for educational workers and increased funding for special education teachers, educational assistants, psychologists, behavioural therapists, school support counsellors, child and youth workers and speech-language pathologist
• Invest wisely with our public dollars by supporting and protecting our public schools and our public services.
You can read a full copy of the statement here.
International Women's Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women's achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.