Public School Board Director of Education Warren Kennedy issued the following response to the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario decision, that its members won’t resume supervising voluntary and extracurricular activities.
“As the Director, I am disappointed by the decision of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario provincial leadership to continue to advise their members to withdraw from voluntary activities.
Activities beyond the classroom are an important part of the educational experience for both students and staff and we really appreciate those employees who have continued to volunteer outside the classroom.
ETFO, in my opinion, has put its political agenda ahead of responsible representation of its members and certainly ahead of the best interest of children and families in public schools both locally and provincially.
Voluntary means voluntary and if individuals choose to volunteer they should be able to do so freely, of their own accord and without provincial union interference.
In my opinion this recent message from the ETFO provincial leadership constitutes an illegal strike – Upper Canada and Trillium Lakelands school boards have presented their cases to the Ontario Labour Relations Board – I think a number of boards will now be looking seriously at their options.
I believe our support of teachers who work for our Board has been evident throughout this difficult year and I want to publicly thank our teachers who have been volunteering for their students.
I know there are more of our teachers who want to participate in activities beyond the classroom and I would encourage them to do so.”