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A message to OSSTF/FEESO members from President Harvey Bischof

The summer is here, and this week marks the end of the school year for OSSTF/FEESO members employed by school boards. As always, the month of June has been a time of celebration for our members and our students. At commencements and graduation ceremonies we have recognized the achievements of students, and have allowed ourselves to take some pride in the knowledge that their success is our success.

Unfortunately, thanks to the Doug Ford government, this past year has also been marked by unnecessary stress and uncertainty, not just for our members employed by school boards, but also for our members in the university sector. The Conservative government’s cuts, if they are allowed to go ahead, will undermine publicly-funded education from JK right through to post-secondary, and the only people who will feel the impact more than OSSTF/FEESO members are Ontario’s students.

In the face of these attacks and in the midst of all this uncertainty and chaos, you, as OSSTF/FEESO members, have stepped up and mounted a determined resistance we can all be proud of. Over the past five months, you have held dozens of rallies at MPP’s offices all over Ontario. You have expressed both outrage and solidarity by wearing Red for Ed on designated days. All kinds of creative local actions have sent a message to PC MPPs that their government’s agenda is misguided and harmful. And thousands of you – along with members from other unions and a multitude of parents, school board trustees and community members of all stripes – came to Toronto in April for the largest rally Queen’s Park has seen in two decades.

That resistance must continue, and it will. But with summer upon us, I urge you all to find some time to relax and recharge. For those of you who will not be at your worksites over the summer, please stay connected with OSSTF/FEESO by monitoring the Federation’s social media accounts and by logging into myOSSTF for the most recent updates on bargaining.

We can’t know with certainty what lies ahead, but we can be certain the road will not be easy. We will need to be rested and ready. I wish you all a good summer.

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