Ontario’s education minister has some strong words for Toronto Catholic elementary school teachers about the labor action that is affecting student report cards and parent-teacher interviews.
“It is totally unacceptable that the local teachers union is refusing to conduct parent-teacher interviews and provide detailed report cards, after a difficult year and a half for students and parents,” Stephen Lecce said in a statement to Global News. .
“Enough is enough. We owe it to the students to give them priority, so I ask the union to restore these basic services immediately.”
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The Toronto Catholic Elementary Teachers Union (TECT), which represents 4,000 full-time Toronto Catholic elementary teachers, began its work to govern last spring.
“We started negotiating in February 2021, around April we reached a stalemate and on May 24 we started our labor sanctions to govern and we have continued with our labor sanctions to govern ever since,” said TECT President Julie Altomare-Di Nunzio. .
“The general pieces are that there are no extracurricular activities, we have modified the teachers’ entry on the student report card, and we are not conducting parent-teacher interviews,” he added.
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Students will receive their report cards next week and parent-teacher interviews were originally scheduled for then as well.
“We are providing a commentary on religion. We provide check marks for progress well, not progress well, etc., and we also provide letter grading for learning skills, so ‘E’ for excellent, ‘G’ for good, ‘S’ for satisfactory, and ‘ N ‘to improve needs. There are no other comments on the report card, ”said Altomare-Di Nunzio.
He said the union is “open and willing to participate at the negotiating table at any time. “
Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) President Joseph Martino told Global News in a statement that, from the board’s perspective, “we don’t understand why things have stalled.”
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“The Board has withdrawn all pending proposals and has offered TECT practically the same collective agreement that has been accepted and ratified by other unions on the Board. However, TECT refuses to reach an agreement and instead seeks to restrict the Board’s ability to manage problematic absenteeism trends and limit the Board’s ability to manage important staffing processes, ”Martino said in the notice.
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“It is very frustrating for us because it is very difficult to understand why the board is not willing to keep what we currently have for teachers, why, during COVID, would they want to strip teachers of their local rights?” Altomare-Di Nunzio asked.
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“The message that I would like the public to understand and for parents to understand is why, during COVID, the board would not be willing to agree to maintain our current practices and procedures, given that our teachers have done so much for students during the pandemic?” she said.
Lecce, in his statement, said that “this union must work with students and parents, not against it, and do the right thing by allowing these interviews to take place and detailed report cards to be provided.”
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