The following solidarity letter was sent by OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, ERFP President Hilary Campbell and OPSEU Local 292 A/President Anders Bawden to Stan Cameron, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Peel District School Board in support of high-quality public education and to express their shared concerns about a U.S. lobby group that is pushing the government to fund private schools in Ontario.
August 29, 2019
Chair, Board of Trustees, Peel District School Board
5650 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5R 1C6
Dear Stan Cameron,
We’re writing to express our support for the Peel District School Board (PDSB) Board of Trustees as we share your concerns about the U.S. lobby group TeachON that is pushing the government to fund private schools in Ontario.
We can’t afford this nonsense. We are disturbed that Ontario’s so-called “deficit crisis” has been used to justify the ongoing attack on our public education system. The Ford government has already increased class sizes, reduced the number of teachers, imposed four mandatory e-learning classes, and cut funding for school repairs, despite a $15.9 billion repair backlog.
At OPSEU and ERFP, we believe that every child deserves high-quality education. We understand that strong public education is one of the great equalizers in our society, ensuring fairness for all. It’s why public tax dollars must be invested in our public education system, where those investments are so desperately needed – not handed out as tax breaks for families who can afford private school.
We fully support the PDSB’s demand that government officials set budget priorities that put students first and ensure all children receive fair and equitable access to education funding.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with the PDSB and others to fight the forces of privatization and to protect and improve our children’s public education.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
President, Educational Resource Facilitators of Peel (ERFP)
A/President, OPSEU Local 292, Peel District School Board