Toronto, ON – Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have given their union a strong mandate for central strike action should it be needed during ETFO’s central bargaining negotiations:
- ETFO’s teacher and occasional teacher members voted 98% in favour of strike action; and
- ETFO’s education worker members voted 98% in favour of strike action.
“Talks have stalled at ETFO’s central bargaining tables. This is a wakeup call from our members to this government to get serious about key issues affecting educators and students including more supports for Special Education, class size and class structure, fair and transparent hiring practices, and preservation of the current Kindergarten program,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.
Hammond said that a conciliator, appointed by the Minister of Labour, will meet with ETFO and the other parties at the central bargaining tables on November 4th.
“The overwhelming mandate our members have given to ETFO clearly shows they want the Ford government to bargain in good faith and arrive at a deal that is fair and reasonable for our members and that actually supports the students in our schools.”
“Premier Ford and his Education Minister Stephen Lecce are fond of saying that they want kids to be in school. So do ETFO’s 83,000 members. But it appears that only teachers and education professionals –not the government –are concerned with the quality of public education that students receive,” added Hammond.
Hammond said that the government is demanding an additional $150 million in cuts from elementary education.
“Is funding for students with special needs to be sacrificed to meet the government’s goal to cut costs? Class sizes have increased. Teaching and support staff positions have already been lost because this government wants to cut, not invest, in public education.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.