February 21 Province-wide Strike:
Unite in Action with Elementary
and Secondary Educators
On Friday, February 21, elementary and secondary
education workers represented by the Association des enseignantes et
des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), the Elementary Teachers'
Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers'
Association (OECTA) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers'
Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) will all walk out together to stand up to the
Ontario government's attacks on public education.
According to a joint press release from the
affiliates, "this is
the first time since the political protest of 1997 that teachers and
education workers from Ontario's main education affiliates will all be
out of their classrooms on the same day. Nearly 200,000 teachers and
education workers will strike across 72 school boards, affecting nearly
5,000 schools across the province in protest of the government funding
cuts to education."
"It is clear to all four Ontario education unions
and our members
that the Ford government and Education Minister Lecce care nothing
about students or educators and everything about taking money out of
the publicly funded education system," says AEFO President
Sabourin. "To achieve their cuts, they have knowingly thrown students,
families, educators and the system into chaos."
"We are already seeing the effects of this
education cuts," says OECTA President Liz Stuart. "The Ford government
is reducing supports for students with special education needs and
mental health issues. It is squeezing students into overcrowded classes
and forcing high school students to take e-learning courses. If we
allow the government to implement its plan fully, thousands of teaching
positions and tens of thousands of course options will be lost."
"Educators in every school board will not stay
silent as the Ford
government proceeds to decimate our publicly funded education system,"
says ETFO President Sam Hammond. "Our unions and members helped build
Ontario's world-class education system. By not seriously addressing the
issues critical to students and student learning, the Ford
government has made a sham of contract talks over the last seven
"It is now evident that the Ford government's
agenda is entirely
ideological and not at all concerned with providing quality education,"
says OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. "They are pulling resources
out of the public education system and, with schemes like mandatory
e-learning, laying the groundwork for private interests to profit
from our students' education. We are heartened that so many parents are
standing with us against the dismantling of Ontario's public education
Workers' Forum encourages all
those who can to join this
province-wide action and visit picket lines at school sites in their
communities across Ontario to make it clear that the fight to affirm
education as a right belongs to everyone.
This article was published in
Number 5 - February 12, 2020
February 21 Province-wide Strike Unite in Action with Elementary and Secondary Educators