TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2012) - "The crisis in education is not just about collective bargaining," declares John Weatherup, President of the Toronto Education Workers, Local 4400 CUPE. "It's about ensuring that students get all the support they need to succeed - not only for themselves and their families, but for the city as a whole."
"The controversial Bill 115, which takes away all the right of all workers in the education system to collectively bargain, Bill 115 is hiding the chronic underfunding of the education system," said Weatherup. He continues, "Hundreds of schools are slated to be closed in Ontario (over 100 in Toronto alone) and the 'school as hub of the community' will be cut, removing an important building and green outside resource to the surrounding community. Funding for the programs and services for which the people of Toronto have paid for and fought for will be cut."
Kicking off a series of ads in subway cars, busses and over 300 buildings all across Toronto, Weatherup continues, "We are sounding the alarm to the community as a whole. Whether you have children / grandchildren or not, well-funded well-functioning schools produce the workforce and the wealth of tomorrow."
As John Weatherup points out, "the cuts that have taken place and - worse - the ones coming up are 'penny wise and pound foolish' because for every dollar spent (for all-day kindergarten, for example) over $1.80 is returned in future wealth." See Charles Pascal Early Learning Report, 2007.
The first set of ads feature staff from the school office, International Languages class, caretaking, educational assistants, and busses, using 'black and white' vs 'colour' to illustrate the point.
"Families with children in schools certainly know the value of education workers," said Weatherup. "We've been through the struggle to protect these vital components of the school team since the Mike Harris years, after amalgamation, when saving money trumped common sense, and many education workers were considered non-classroom 'frills', along with light and heat. The community saw through that and fought to keep Toronto's school system one of the best in North America, but the McGuinty government seems to have forgotten those lessons."