TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown:

“Since the start of the summer, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has repeatedly tried to create a crisis where none exists. At a time when educators should be focused on recharging after a stressful school year, they are instead exposed to media interviews where his goals seem to be agitation and division. Educators deserve to be uplifted not targeted.

Put simply, Minister Lecce is needlessly engaged in fear-mongering.

ETFO members will be in schools when they re-open for the 2022-2023 school year. Like the students they serve, educators are looking forward to a stable and safe return to in-person learning. It’s what everyone deserves—students, families and education workers.

As is our usual practice, ETFO is in the process of establishing bargaining dates and is preparing to engage in its regular central bargaining process with government and school board representatives.

If Minister Lecce is truly committed to doing what’s in students’ best interests, he must work to restore positive working relationships with all education stakeholders. This begins by valuing the expertise of education professionals, and respecting their professionalism and professional judgment. A genuine commitment is needed to ensure stability and a public education system that supports, uplifts, and celebrates every student.”