Elementary Teachers’ Federation planning work-to-rule that will not impact students

Target will be education ministry and school boards

Elementary School Teachers in Ontario (ETFO) are being briefed on a work-to-rule action to begin November that their union says will not impact students, but target school boards and the education ministry.

 “We are making this known well in advance to assure parents that this strike action will not affect students, their learning or their safety,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “ETFO members will be withdrawing from Ministry and school board administrative activities, which will give them more time to focus on working with students.”

Hammond says the goal is to turn the heat up on Premier Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce to address issues of concern: more supports for students with special needs, the protection of Ontario’s Kindergarten program and critical issues like addressing violence in schools.

“It is disappointing that ETFO has decided to escalate to a partial withdrawal of services, which hurts our kids, despite a limited number of outstanding items at the table.” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce, ” Furthermore, it is disheartening to see that ETFO has decided to specifically target several initiatives and resources designed to improve students’ confidence and knowledge in math. The singular victim of this escalation is our kids. Given that far too many students across the province continue to struggle with math, this move will clearly hurt students in, and beyond, the classroom.”

According to the ETFO website, the union’s members will:

  • NOT participate in any school board or Ministry of Education professional learning offered outside of the instructional day (including online or face-to-face professional learning);
  • NOT participate in activities related to the Fundamentals of Math Strategy (except as referenced above);
  • NOT participate in any Ministry of Education online training or webinars;
  • NOT participate in any EQAO-related activities;
  • NOT participate in any school board or Ministry of Education professional learning offered outside of the instructional day (including online or face-to-face professional learning);
  • NOT participate in activities related to the Fundamentals of Math Strategy (except as referenced above);
  • NOT participate in any Ministry of Education online training or webinars;
  • NOT participate in any EQAO-related activities;
  • NOT participate in any way in the development of the Math Proficiency Test for faculty of education students;
  • NOT complete any surveys/data collection activities (except for what ETFO members deem is necessary for their own reporting requirements, as per PPM 155);
  • NOT attend meetings (online or face-to-face) with Ministry of Education Achievement Officers;
  • NOT participate in school board activities on Professional Activity (PA) Days – ETFO members will work in their assigned worksites on their own self-directed activities;
  • NOT attend staff/division/grade team meetings;
  • NOT undertake the role of ‘Teacher in Charge’ (unless remuneration is specifically provided for this role in the local collective agreement);
  • NOT participate in school board/school improvement planning activities (BIPSA or SIPSA);
  • NOT respond to electronic communications from the school administrator/direct supervisor for non-school-based staff, outside of the instructional day (unless for reasons of personal/student safety, an OT accepting work, or support for students with special needs);
  • NOT undertake the role of divisional chair/team lead (unless remuneration is specifically provided for this role in the local collective agreement);
  • NOT respond to electronic communications from the school administrator/direct supervisor for non-school-based staff, outside of the instructional day (unless for reasons of personal/student safety, an OT accepting work, or support for students with special needs);
  • NOT undertake the role of divisional chair/team lead (unless remuneration is specifically provided for this role in the local collective agreement);
  • NOT participate in any school board committee (with the exception of School Council, staffing committees, labour management committees or health and safety committees);
  • NOT participate on any school board writing team or in school board curriculum/resource development;
  • NOT complete Term 1 Report Cards – teachers WILL provide the school administrator with a class list of marks for the various subjects/strands taught, or one brief comment per frame for the Kindergarten Communication of Learning;
  • NOT undertake the role of report card administrator;
  • NOT file the Progress Report, the Term 1 Report Card or the Kindergarten Communication of Learning.

ETFO has a strike mandate of 98 percent. Talks to avert job action continue.