TORONTO, Aug. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Today's introduction of draft legislation
that will take away the collective bargaining rights of teachers and
educators, coupled with six months of belligerent demands by the
provincial government, is driving teachers and would-be teachers away
from the profession.
Teacher retirements are up by 35% while registrations at faculties of
education are down by 35%, according to the Elementary Teachers'
Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
"The province can't discredit and dishonour Ontario teachers, and take
away their democratic rights, and then expect that they are going to
start, or continue to pursue their calling," said ETFO President Sam
Hammond. Ontario's teachers, who must obtain two university degrees to
become certified, are among the most highly qualified teaching
professionals in the world.
"While faculties have been graduating more teachers than there are
spaces, the government's 'take it or leave it' demands- which include
conditions that penalize new teachers- have definitely cast a chill on
the profession," added Hammond.
The government's demands severely penalize younger teachers who start at
a relatively low level of pay and spend more than a decade working
through a grid to obtain a salary commensurate with their expertise and
"While young teachers have always accepted the premise that they will be
working at lower salaries for over 10 years, they were at least able to
take their salary grid futures to the bank and obtain a mortgage.
Freezing the grid throws their future into jeopardy," said Hammond.
ETFO local presidents from across the province sat in the provincial
legislature gallery today in a silent vigil during first reading of the
Putting Students First Act, 2012.
On Tuesday, thousands of teachers are expected to attend a rally at
Queen's Park at noon to protest the legislation. Unions including ETFO
have vowed to challenge the legislation all the way to the Supreme
Court of Canada if it is passed.
Over 77% of Ontarians believe the province should negotiate an agreement
with teachers rather than use legislation to impose wages and benefits
on them, according to an independent poll conducted for ETFO this
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000
elementary public school teachers and education professionals across
the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information:
Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations, Cell: 416-948-0195
Lisa Mastrobuono, ETFO Collective Bargaining Communications: Cell: 416-200-3674