Teachers Demand Fairness for Elementary Students

    TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
will not sign a long term collective agreement that does not ensure fairness
for elementary students, the federation's president said today.
    "Salary is not the issue; it was never the issue," David Clegg said. He
was reacting to statements by the minister of education and Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty that teachers should be satisfied with a 3 per cent increase
over four years.
    "Our Close the gap campaign is about ensuring that all elementary
students have the same level of support and learning opportunities as
secondary students."
    The government's own figures show that it currently provides $711 less
per year for an elementary student than for a high school student. The result
is larger class sizes in grades 4 to 8, schools without teacher-librarians and
guidance counsellors, and not enough specialist teachers in areas like
physical education and the arts.
    "The federation will not return to the provincial discussion table under
the threat of an ultimatum or deadline," Clegg added, referring to Education
Minister Kathleen Wynne's statement that the 3 per cent offer would be off the
table after November 30.
    "The foundation for student academic success is laid in the elementary
years. That's why it is essential to ensure fairness and equity in funding for
elementary students."
    "We look forward to working with the provincial government and the public
school boards to build a world class elementary school system. Ontario's
future depends on it."

    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: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Johanna Brand, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-2554 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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