Elementary teachers to 'take a pause' on voluntary activities

Will also participate in 'McGuinty Mondays' in response to draconian legislation

TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's 76,000 public elementary teachers and education professionals are being urged to 'take a pause' on voluntary activities in response to today's draconian legislation that strips them of their democratic rights.

"Given this extraordinary and unwarranted legislation, we are advising our members to 'take a pause' on the voluntary activities they undertake in schools," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). "While they will remain focussed on teaching students and ensuring student safety, teachers and other educational professionals will need to consider very carefully what they can afford to do outside of their instructional responsibilities."

ETFO is also introducing 'McGuinty Mondays' in protest of the legislation. Teachers and education professionals will be urged not to participate in school-based or system level meetings of any kind nor participate in regional Ministry meetings on Mondays for the foreseeable future.

This is the initial step in an escalating protest strategy, according to Hammond.

"We do not take this action lightly. Ontarians and the government need to know that you cannot take away the democratic rights of working people simply to fulfill a political party's agenda or ideology," said Hammond.

"Collective bargaining rights are central to ensuring that working people are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness in the workplace. If the premier can get away with abolishing our rights, we need to ask 'who's next?'

ETFO and others also plan to challenge the legislation in court.

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

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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