TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario public elementary teachers will not resume extracurricular activities any time soon, their union said Thursday.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario said it will not ask its 76,000 members to resume voluntary activities, including sports teams and clubs.
“While we have experienced a marked and welcome change in the Wynne government’s approach to addressing its relationship with teachers, this has yet to translate into real change,” ETFO President Sam Hammond said in a statement.
“In these circumstances, ETFO’s advice regarding voluntary, extracurricular activities remains unchanged.”
But Hammond said the union is still willing to work with the governing Liberals.
“We want to focus our attention, we want to find solutions and we want to get through this together with the government as quickly as we can,” he told 680News.
Education Minister Liz Sandals said she is pleased that the union is committed to continue to work with the province to repair the relationship.
“But [the government] is disappointed that ETFO has decided not to resume the voluntary provision of extracurricular activities at this time,” she said in a statement.
“Extracurricular activities enrich the educational experience of both students and teachers.”
Last week, the union representing public high school teachers urged its members to return to voluntary activities. But the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation said the majority of teachers do not want to resume activities because they are still angry with the province imposing contracts.
The unions urged their members to stop extracurriculars after the province used the controversial Bill 115 and imposed contracts on teachers that cut benefits and froze the wages of most instructors.