With the provincial election now very close at hand, every voter will have their own set of priorities and criteria for determining which party’s platform deserves their support on election day.
For OSSTF/FEESO members, that decision should be based in no small part on how well the respective parties’ platforms measure up against our own education platform, Public Education—It’s For Everyone. Our platform, available on the Federation website, identifies key education issues we believe need to be addressed, and asks for specific actions the next government needs to take in order to address those issues effectively.
We urge every member to take the time to read Public Education—It’s For Everyone, and become familiar with the seven key education issues it identifies. The platform addresses early learning, professional supports in our schools, the importance of recognizing professional judgement and collaboration, the need for a new education funding formula, ongoing issues with university funding and governance, the need to consider one public education system in each official language, and changes that must be made to the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. You’ll see that the concerns we are raising, and calling on the next government to address, do not comprise some kind of fanciful wish-list of unrealistic demands. We’re simply asking for practical, sensible commitments that will improve public education in Ontario and help OSSTF/FEESO members do the best job they can do for the students they work with.
To help you assess how the major parties’ platforms measure up against OSSTF/FEESO’s platform, this issue of Update features a comparative chart that tracks the promises made by the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democrats and Greens in relation to the seven pillars of our platform. The chart delivered in the print edition of Update is an accurate reflection of party platforms and/or announcements as of May 9. A downloadable digital version of the comparative chart is available in the Election Watch area of the Federation website, and that version will be updated over the course of the campaign, if and when parties make announcements related to education policy. We hope that OSSTF/FEESO members, as well as members of the public who care about education policy, will monitor the chart frequently to see where the parties stand.
As an education worker, whether in the elementary, secondary or post-secondary system, your working life could be impacted for years to come by the outcome of the June 7 election and the kind of government we find ourselves dealing with for the ensuing four years. It’s up to you to engage in the process and make the best decision for you, for your colleagues, and for public education in Ontario.