For Immediate Release: Friday, March 27, 2015
From the Provincial Office of OSSTF/FEESO.
(Toronto)— Yesterday, the Minister of Education released the Grants for Student Needs (GSNs), the funding for all school boards in Ontario for the 2015–16 school year.
The government stated that the GSNs provide stable funding for school boards and include an increase in funding on a per-student basis. The reality, however, is that there is no additional funding for front-line services, and that some school boards across the province will actually see significant decreases in funding because of the various ways in which funds are allocated.
“We are disappointed in the lack of meaningful investment in the front-line services that students rely on most,” said Paul Elliott, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO). “Teachers and other front-line education workers are crucial to the success of students in Ontario, but the funding allocations announced today do nothing to enhance those services or support the people who deliver them.”
Elliott also expressed his dismay that the funding announced today does not provide for the lifting of restraint measures that were imposed under Bill 115 in 2012. Under those measures, which were intended to stay in place for only two years, OSSTF/FEESO members are restricted from moving to a new level on their salary grids until months after that movement should have taken place.
“Our members will now be moving into their fourth year of restricted grid movement,” said Elliott. “The cost to individual teachers and support staff members is now in the thousands of dollars, and continues to mount. This measure was never intended to be permanent, and it’s disappointing in the extreme that the government has once again decided to unilaterally impose this unfair restraint on Ontario’s front-line education workers.”
Elliott concluded, “Far from enhancing public education, the government’s tired agenda of austerity serves only to undermine the hard work and dedication of front-line education workers.”
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.
Contact: Paul Elliott, President
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
416.751.8300 or 1.800.267.7867