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Provincial Bargaining Update: Ford Conservative Government Policy Fails Students, Undermines Collective Bargaining, and Threatens to Contravene Collective Agreements
In response to the Ford Conservative government’s new Policy/Program Memorandum 168 – Reading Instruction and Early Reading Screening (PPM 168), which it released Friday without notice, the Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have released a joint statement demanding that the government keep these issues where they belong: at the bargaining table.
Catholic teachers firmly believe that every child has the right to learn to read – to literacy – and we recognize
that this issue continues to disproportionately impact students from equity-deserving communities, which is why reading instruction has been a topic of conversation during the current round of bargaining.
Without meaningful consultation with frontline educators, and failing to provide the necessary investments in
resources, training, and dedicated staff needed to properly implement a successful early reading screening
program, the government’s new policy places the onus on administration and already overburdened classroom
teachers, and will leave vulnerable students behind. Additionally, by arbitrarily and unilaterally introducing new requirements of Catholic teachers through policy memorandum, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and the Ford Conservative government continue to erode your professional judgement, circumvent the bargaining process, and threaten to contravene your collective agreements when the new, mandated requirements are implemented. The Association will continue to work to defend Catholic teachers’ rights and to fight for the best possible learning environment for the students we serve.
Your Provincial Bargaining Team (PBT) will next meet with the Government of Ontario and the bargaining team
representing all Catholic school boards, for the renewal of the central terms of our collective agreement,
on August 15, 16, and 23.