OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

August 15, 2013 12:35 ET

OSSTF/FEESO President Paul Elliott Gives His First State of the Union Address to Local Leaders

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 15, 2013) - Paul Elliott, the new President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), addressed over 400 local leaders and participants at the annual OSSTF/FEESO Leadership Conference this morning at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. In his first address as President, Elliott reflected on the challenges that have faced education workers over the past two years.

"Last year marked an unprecedented attack by the Liberal Government upon our bargaining rights," said Elliott. "It has been a long time since I saw a sitting government take direct action against the publicly funded education system that we are all proud of. For 19 months, we have been the political football."

Elliott also spoke with pride about the work of OSSTF/FEESO members in the education system. "Day in and day out, our members work within the publicly funded education system, and everyday strive to improve a system that is ranked in top five in the world, said Elliott.

Turning his attention to recent legislation at the federal level and continued attacks on unions and workers' rights, Elliott told delegates, "We must remain strong and vigilant when it comes to the attacks on workers in all sectors of our society."

Elliott reflected on the actions of the Federation during the Bill 115 protests and the failure of many school boards to not recognize the Memorandum of Understanding signed between OSSTF/FEESO and Ministry of Education in April.

"We encouraged peace and stability in the schools - we asked our members to return to delivering the richness of learning in all its forms," continued Elliott. "We fully expected the Memorandum to be implemented by the end of June across the province for all of our members. Fewer than ten school boards have appended the Memorandum to their collective agreements. For those boards that continue to refuse to abide to the MOU, the Minister of Education must intervene."

Elliott concluded by calling upon local leaders and all members to rally together and to continue the great work that they do in education and for their students. "I come to you full of hope for what we can do for our members and for publicly funded education."

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 Information

  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
    Lori Foote
    Associate General Secretary
    416.751.8300 or 1.800.267.7867
    416.751.3394 (FAX)
    www.osstf.on.ca