TORONTO, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - The gap in learning conditions for students and
working conditions for teachers is a serious problem that must be solved in
the upcoming round of collective bargaining, Elementary Teachers' Federation
of Ontario (ETFO) President David Clegg said today.
Speaking to the more than 500 delegates attending the opening session of
ETFO's annual meeting in Toronto, Clegg underlined his position by sending a
strong message to the Ontario Minister of Education and Ontario district
"The focus of this round of collective bargaining is the rationalization
of learning conditions and working conditions between elementary schools and
secondary schools. No long-term collective agreement will be signed that does
not address those goals," Clegg said.
Clegg stressed that there is no rational reason for the current
underfunding of elementary education and the inferior learning and working
conditions forced upon elementary students and teachers.
"The Education Minister and this government need to be accountable for
their actions toward elementary students and teachers," said Clegg. "They
either believe that they value elementary students and their teachers equally
to those of secondary students and teachers or they don't. They either are
prepared to Close the Gap or they are not."
Clegg said delegates should expect a "clear and unambiguous answer" to
these questions from Education Minister Kathleen Wynne when she attends the
meeting tomorrow as guest speaker.
All collective agreements for Ontario's 73,000 elementary public school
teachers expire on August 31, 2008. Several local bargaining teams have
already met with board officials for initial discussions.
The ETFO annual meeting continues until Thursday afternoon. Scheduled
speaker for tomorrow morning at 11:15 a.m. is the Honorable Kathleen Wynne,
Minister of Education for Ontario.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across Ontario and is
the largest teacher federation in Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Larry Skory, (416) 948-0195 (cell),
email@example.com; Harold Vigoda, (Collective Bargaining Communications), (416)
948-0351 (cell); Johanna Brand, (416) 948-2554 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org; Mary
Morison, (416) 948-3406 (cell), email@example.com; August 11-14 - ETFO Media
Centre, Queens Quay 1, Concourse Level, The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto,
Phone: (416) 957-7181, Fax: (416) 957-7180