We have been hard at work rolling out #SafeLearnOrNoReturn. We are asking all families and education workers to fight with us. Our main asks are more funding for small class sizes to allow for adequate physical distancing in classrooms, more funding for transportation to allow for adequate physical distancing on school buses, and more funding for safety protocols.
On Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7, 2020, the elementary school teachers at TDSB and YRDSB will be on strike. For those parents in need of childcare, the York Communities for Public Education is offering camps for elementary school-aged children in solidarity with education workers and educators who are fighting to defend publicly funded education.
A late fall episode of Politically Speaking: Insights and Issues with Dave Szollosy featured two members of the York Communities for Public Education, Angel Xing and Shameela Hoosen-Shakeel. Both Angel and Shameela spoke on the effects of education cuts and why its hurting kids. Angel, who is a grade 12 student, spoke from her own experience and that of other high school students. Shameela, who is a psychometrist, explained why these cuts are counter-productive to the needs of our children. An additional plus and a must see is Angel's thought-provoking poem " If you cut us do we not bleed?" that she performed during the interview.
We have heard from Dave that they have received lots of positive feedback on the episode, particularly about Angel's wonderful spoken word piece. Please watch and share the video!
Click the image below to view the video:
We are asking families across the province to attend a picket line to show Minister Lecce and the Ford government that Ontario supports education workers and stand against education cuts.
At every picket line families will be able to sign an education pledge poster that will be delivered to Minister Lecce.
We are also encouraging families visiting picket lines to record a short video of themselves, describing how they feel about the cuts and declaring their support for education workers.
If you are able to visit a picket line, please sign up at this LINK
Friends, on December 4, 2019, secondary school educators across Ontario (including 33 from York Region) went on strike to stand up for smaller class sizes, appropriate student supports, and to protect public education. Our teachers were not alone at the picket line! They were joined by many supporters including parents, students, and other York Region unions. We thank our teachers for being the front-line defence for our public education.
See below for the flyer distributed by our teachers at the picket line which lists what they want to achieve in public education.
Help out on social media by tweeting a photo of yourself wearing #RedForEd and also use the hashtags #NoCutstoEducation and #CutsHurtKids!
Encourage friends, colleagues, and neighbours to engage in the conversation about what our teachers are striking for. The English version of the information flyer is below, and you can get it in seven languages at https://www.labourcouncil.ca/education
On October 26, Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce announced a revision to the increase in class size for secondary students. While the provincial government had approved a class size hike from 22 to 28 students, this new plan would see 25 students per class on average.
(Learn more about how class size averages are calculated.)
While this may seem like a generous offer on the part of the minister, the reality is that his revision will result in fewer adults in our kids' classrooms.
In addition, Minister Lecce's new "offer" comes with fine print! The Ontario Government wants to remove all existing class size caps, which means there will be no limit to the number of students in a class.
The Canadian Center for Policy Alternative blog provided some interesting stats on how these numbers will affect our students and teachers. According to the Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) this class increase will see 10,054 fewer teachers in Ontario’s classrooms by 2023-24. CCPA's Behind the Numbers blog shows that in York Region, this means 933 fewer teachers in the next 4 years.
You can read the full article here.
We need teachers and education workers in our schools. We want the best and brightest staff Ontario has to offer teaching our kids. Ontario student learning will no doubt suffer with these cuts - and in fact, we've heard from many that they already are.
Images courtesy of Behind The Numbers' mapping tool, as found at http://behindthenumbers.ca/2019/10/30/board-by-board-impact-larger-class-sizes/
Our first tailgate event was a great success! On September 14, we took advantage of fantastic fall weather to gather around 200 people in the parking lot outside the Longo’s store in Maple. We earned some media coverage and Mitzie Hunter, the Liberal education critic, showed up in support. Thanks to everyone who came out to help make the tailgate a success, especially our friends from Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 who ran the barbecue all afternoon.