The Ontario government is in the final stages of reviewing two major pieces of legislation that govern work and could make an important difference in women’s working lives.
In April, ETFO and other education unions won a major victory at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The court found that the Ontario government’s Bill 115, imposed in the fall of 2012, was a violation of the collective bargaining rights of education unions.
Given that education unions have memberships that are predominantly female, austerity in the education sector is clearly a women’s issue.
Voice in conversation with Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
Westheimer’s view is that the goals of education have shifted away from preparing students to be active and engaged citizens. Through standardized curriculum and standardized testing, schools have moved to a more narrow focus on career preparation and individual economic gain.
On June 1, 2008, just days before the Prime Minister’s public apology to residential school survivors and their families and communities, the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established.
Participation in political rallies gives ETFO members an important opportunity to support their union’s bargaining position; it gives them a public voice on how contract provisions directly affect classroom working and learning conditions. ETFO members find themselves once again compelled to protest the government and employer stance at the bargaining table.
ETFO’s annual leadership conference for women, … and still we rise (ASWR), is known for providing inspiring ideas women educators can use to make a difference in their classrooms and communities.
ETFO traditionally has focused its political activities at the provincial level; the provincial government has the most direct impact on education policies and our members’ working conditions. Increasingly, however, ETFO has become concerned about the impact of federal policies on both our members’ welfare and the very fabric of Canadian society.