Need an expert? COVID-19: Ontario teachers' unions and workplace safety

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Rows of unoccupied seats in an empty university classroom.

Members of the media may directly contact the following expert:

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook (English and French)
Full Professor, Vice-Dean of graduate programs, Faculty of Education

“Every public servant working on the front lines would like to know that their organization has taken the utmost precautions toward ensuring their health and safety. Teachers are no exception and the Ontario government has failed to acknowledge the risks teachers will now be taking as frontline workers.

School boards are trying to do their best toward ensuring the security and safety of their school communities during an unprecedented 21st century context. Yet, we continue to get mixed messages with different protocols in place for certain occupations that are then not applied to the working, teaching, and learning environment across different public schooling systems. It is understandable that teachers’ unions – like other professions – would be advocating on behalf of their collective community to ensure that all possible health and safety precautions have been taken.

If teachers do not feel that the necessary measures have been taken, then how can parents trust that the health and safety of their children is also being ensured as much as it can be during a COVID-19 pandemic?”

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