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Education Week: Celebrating our Members in the Midst of Crisis

During Education Week, which begins May 4, we join with students, parents and communities in underscoring the tireless work of our members who work in our Colleges, Universities and Boards of Education, as well as all the other workers who play a role in public education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of disruption and upheaval for our education members. Preparing new generations of Ontarians to succeed is never easy, but with the lockdown, our members had to move instruction from the classroom to the Internet in a matter of days.

By adapting their curriculum to online learning, CAAT and Universities faculty members have enabled anxious students and families to feel supported. The speed and commitment with which they’ve made the transition demonstrates – once again – their unshakable professionalism and unwavering commitment to learning and personal growth.

Ontario’s colleges and universities rely heavily upon the exemplary work of support staff. Throughout the crisis, they’ve quickly restructured how they support and interact with students, faculty and administration to best meet the presenting needs and allow postsecondary education to continue.

Because effective learning can’t happen when students are distressed, Boards of Education members have focused on supporting the well-being of students. Overwhelmed parents are turning to education workers for resources they can use with their children, such as paper packages and kits. They are also provided with activities that get kids away from computer screens.

As always, our frontline education members have responded magnificently, showing that the well-being of students and the quality of education is their top priority.

When Ontario reopens our places of learning, OPSEU will work to ensure the health and safety of all is fully protected –a return to normal can’t come at the cost of sickness or loss of life. And we’ll continue to press the government to end the chronic and shameful underfunding of our public education system.

To all the OPSEU members who deliver education so effectively: Thank you for the difference you make in so many lives – in good times and bad.

In solidarity,
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer