President’s Memo, August 8, 2020 – Joint TDSB Union Action TODAY: Email your trustee today to demand a safe September for all!

This memo is composed by OSSTF TTBU President Leslie Wolfe and reflects the positions and actions of the OSSTF Toronto Teachers’ Bargaining Unit Executive.

Earlier today the heads of Toronto Education Workers, Elementary Teachers of Ontario, and the OSSTF Toronto TBU, OTBU and PSSP met to discuss the TDSB plan for reopening schools.  The result of this meeting is the attached letter sent to all TDSB Trustees and to Interim Director Carleen Jackson.  In it we tell the Board that we stand together in our demand for a better plan for school reopening.  Now, we need your voice.

While the provincial government has ultimate responsibility for the full funding of a safe return to school plan, the TDSB can be a strong voice on the inadequacies of the funding it has so far received by passing a budget that fully funds the measures needed to make schools safer, or at a minimum refusing to endorse the TDSB’s current plan for school reopening.

Either way it would  send a powerful message that the Ford government must provide the additional funding that is required to keep all of us safe at school.

As the board will be voting on its budget tomorrow (August 6) as well as on the school reopening plan, it is critical that you send your message today.

The email address of the trustee where you live and/or work can be found here:

Here is a sample letter.  Please feel free to personalize it as you see fit.

Dear [name of your trustee],

For a safer return to school, it is critical that you pass a budget containing adequate funding, that includes but is not limited to:

-Reduced class size for all grades to cohorts of 15;
-Mandatory masks for all staff and students;
-Safe professional working spaces for all teachers and education workers;
-Teaching/learning schedules that prioritize face-to-face learning with asynchronous and synchronous learning as supplementary modes, as needed;
-Proper PPE for all
-Funding that ensures the appropriate staffing, and additional health and safety modifications that are required to keep students and staff safe at work, are available.

I recognize that it is ultimately up to the provincial government to provide the additional funding needed for this budget. By passing this budget, TDSB trustees would make it clear to the provincial government that the safety and well being of all students and staff must be the top priority.