At the end of February, the government was forced to table the results of the education consultation they conducted in the fall. These show overwhelmingly what the Ford Conservatives have been trying to hide: Parents in Ontario do not support cuts to public education.
Standing Strong Across Ontario
ETFO educators are in an unprecedented round of bargaining with a government intent on making drastic cuts to public education. Through weeks of protest we have stood by our commitment to our students, our classrooms and our public schools. Educators know that the cuts from Doug Ford’s Conservative government will have lasting impacts on all of our communities, and we have been standing together on picket lines across the province to oppose them. Our solidarity, strength and community alliances are extremely important as we try to move our contract negotiations forward.
We’ve included a roundup of photos from pickets from across the province in this issue of Voice. If you don’t see your local featured here, please go to facebook.com/ETFOprovincialoffice/ for a full round up of photos.
Parent support has been unprecedented in this round of bargaining. Ontario parents know that this government does not have the best interests of students at its heart. They also know that a quality public education system ensures that all Ontario children, regardless of their circumstances or geographic locations, get the public education they deserve and the chance to succeed.
Many ETFO members made inspired and inspiring signs, highlighting that educators take the responsibility of stewardship and protection of the public education system seriously. Nobody knows the public education system or its needs better than the educators who are in classrooms across the province every day.
“We’d rather be in the classroom” was a common sentiment among educators on the picket lines. But all of us know how important it is for us to push back against the Ford Conservative government and to continue to call on them to reverse the cuts.
In recent years, ETFO has shifted as an organization. While we have always been committed to equity and social justice, we, as a union of educators, are increasingly recognizing the importance of our solidarity with other social movements.