PETITION TO AVERT STRIKE ACTION AT TORONTO ELEMENTARY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

As parents, we have been conditioned to be reactive during the pandemic – not this time! 

It’s time for parents to stand up for their children.  The pandemic is having enough impact on our children – they are voiceless, innocent and finally finding their academic footing and seeing their friends.  Countless medical professionals and think tanks have pleaded to get the children back in the classroom where they belong.  And this union leadership wants to derail this.   NOT this time. 

The Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers (TECT) union should not carry out any strike action, no matter what form it might take (rotating strikes, school-by-school, etc).  There is no justification for this. 

1) The (TECT) is the only teachers union in the GTA which has not settled their contract.  This has been going on since 2019 – three long years.  It’s bad enough there were rolling strikes before the pandemic resulting in no extracurricular activities (eg. no field trips), but to start beating the strike drum again is unconscionable.  

2) It is not acceptable for our children to have barebones report cards, minimal commitment from teachers (directed by their union “leadership”) and no extracurricular activities of any sort.  It is also not acceptable for TECT union leaders to direct their teachers to provide a minimal effort, as this puts teachers, who we highly value, in a very awkward position between parents and the union leaders. 

3) The TECT is not special or unique. Every other Catholic school teachers’ union in Ontario has settled their contract.   

4) As parents, we are upset and frankly incredulous the TECT would consider further strike action, on top of the current work-to-rule action.   We have had enough and will not tolerate another occurrence of children losing more precious learning time – they have already lost so much in the last two years, with the pandemic, virtual “learning” and the work-to-rule actions which have resulted in template report cards with no information, missed classes, and sub-standard education, which has resulted in our kids being behind in learning.  

5) Parents are no longer able to simultaneously juggle working from home, watching their children, elder care, online learning, household chores and all their other duties while having children at home simply because the TECT feels it’s now the time to escalate their strike action.  WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH. 

We teach kids on the playground to settle their conflicts and seek compromise before a situation escalates: the TECT should do the same.  All parties should immediately get back to the bargaining table and find a way to settle this once and for all, as all other boards and unions have.  

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