TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2012 /CNW/ -This year, Ontario public elementary teachers will mark World Teachers' Day on October 5th with one wish; that Ontarians join them in standing up for the democratic rights of working people in the province.
"One of the most important lessons that we teach children is to stand up for their principles, and we believe standing up for democracy is at the top of the list," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). "That's why we hope that Ontarians will join us in standing up for the fundamental rights of working people in this province."
Bill 115, passed by the Liberal government and supported by the Conservative Party last month, strips teachers and education professionals of their right to bargain collectively. It also places the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the courts.
"This bill sets a very dangerous precedent. We're already seeing both the government and the Conservative party threaten to take away the rights of many other working people with similar legislation," added Hammond. "We need to be concerned that loss of rights for working people will not create better prospects for our children when they enter the workforce in search of decent jobs."
UNESCO created World Teachers' Day to commemorate the vital contribution that teachers' organizations make to education and development. This year's theme is 'Take a Stand for Teachers'. "I'm proud of the critical role that our teachers and educational professionals play in making Ontario's education system one of the best in the world. That's why it is all the more disheartening that this government is exhibiting such a profound disrespect for teachers," Hammond said.
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