Monday, January 27, 2020
As we navigate challenging times in our province, Compass ELC has been reflecting about our role in relation to the ongoing negotiations between Ontario’s teachers and the provincial government.
We truly value the partnership and relationships we have with our schools, and hope teachers reach a fair deal as quickly as possible. Many of the teachers have expressed the need to go on strike to put pressure on the government to address the “lack of supports for children with special needs, large class sizes and the violent incidents occurring in classrooms due to lack of supports for students with unique learning needs” (ETFO website). We support the need to advocate on behalf of children.
As a way of supporting children, families and teachers through this process, we want to offer care to as many families as we can during days of job action. During this time, we have had opportunities to take the children to the picket lines, offering hot chocolate and solidarity and creating meaningful educational opportunities for children as they consider the perspectives being shared by the teachers at their schools.
We have heard from many ETFO members, including President of KPRDSB’s ETFO Teacher’s local, who have said they see all day child care as an important piece of the puzzle, since many families are unable to lose a day of work, even while supporting the position of teachers. Not all employers allow the flexibility to take a day off work, so we are offering care to provide consistency and familiarity for children and to allow the teachers to take the action required to find a deal that puts children first. As a child care organization, we fully support this position, as we believe children are at the heart of everything we do.
A few stories we have heard from our educators over the past week:
- Several of our educators delivered strike treats to teachers on the picket line, which were greatly appreciated
- Many children and educators in our programs have been wearing red shirts in support of the teachers
- Many teachers have expressed their appreciation for the care we offer their children so they can be on the picket line
- Wherever possible, we have made arrangements for alternate pick-up/drop-off spot so bus drivers and families didn’t have to cross the picket line
- It has been our experience that teachers have been supportive of allowing our families to cross the picket line, and have provided signage to prevent delays
- We have shared pamphlets in our staff rooms to raise awareness and demonstrate our respect and support, to continue to grow professional respectful partnerships
Hanah McFarlane, Communications Coordinator on behalf of
Compass Early Learning & Care