All elementary and secondary teachers represented by the four major education unions in Ontario will strike on February 21.
That means nearly 200,000 teachers and education workers across 72 school boards, affecting almost 5,000 schools across the province, will be in protest all day against the Ford government’s funding cuts to education.
The four unions represented in the province wide walkout are; Members of 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).
The last walkout to happen on this scale took place during the political protest in 1997.
Teachers are currently in their fourth week of strikes with no foreseeable resolutions on the table.
Educators across Ontario are united in action!
On Feb 21, elementary and secondary educators will all strike to stand up against Ford’s education cuts. It’s the first time since 1997. Read release: https://t.co/aEDezYc2Wa #ONpoli #onted #ETFOstrike pic.twitter.com/17qYtCkM4L
— Elementary Educators (@ETFOeducators) February 12, 2020
“Educators in every school board will not stay silent as the Ford government proceeds to decimate our publicly funded education system,” Sam Hammond, ETFO President, said in a release. “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 months.”
The primary concerns for teachers are increased classroom size, expansion to online learning, funding cuts to special education, hiring teachers with seniority and improved salary compensation.
“It is now evident that the Ford government’s agenda is entirely ideological and not at all concerned with providing quality education,” Harvey Bischof, OSSTF/FEESO President said. “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.”