With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching as I write this in the first days of September, ETFO is ever more mindful of how important it is to get school reopening right and to ensure health and safety of both educators and students.
With the fall issue of Voice, we are focussed on the safe reopening of schools and the ways in which we build community, particularly in these challenging times when the inequities that are always present, are laid bare.
The 2019-2020 school year was one for the history books. We started the year bargaining with a Conservative government determined to make massive cuts to public education and ended with a global pandemic and our members having to adjust to emergency distance learning over the course of just a couple of weeks.
The summer issue of Voice is always our Women’s Issue. It is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women members, to talk about the value and impact of mentorship and women’s programs and to acknowledge both how far we have come as an organization and an advocate for social change, and how far we have yet to go.
The summer issue of Voice is our Women’s Issue. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women’s programs and women members and to consider the contributions of intersectional feminist principles to our thinking and our social movements.
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.
Over the course of the winter, ETFO staff have been focussed on organizing strike action, which began in late November and has extended over six phases that have included work-to-rule, rotating strikes, full-day withdrawal of services and a coordinated all affiliate one-day strike.
The spring issue of Voice is our climate justice issue, an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the climate justice movement and chart our way forward as activists and educators.
This government may not care about the long-term consequences of their cuts to public education, but educators are very aware that what we are fighting for today will have an impact on generations of students to come. We take this responsibility very seriously.