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Educational workers implore Government to support students with autism

March 7, 2019

Toronto - As parents, educators, front-line workers, education stakeholders’ and as concerned residents in Ontario, five educational workers’ unions released a statement strongly urging the government to rethink its rash decision-making on the Ontario Autism Program and put the needs of children first.

In the joint statement the unions said, “The Ford government’s reckless changes to the way it supports children with autism – in particular, its cuts to direct public and not-for profit services in the community - puts desperately needed services at risk.”

Together the unions called upon the government to take swift action to:

  • Ensure that the necessary supports and direct, public and not-for-profit services are in place for children with autism in Ontario.
  • Immediately institute more school-based supports for children, including funded training for educational workers and increased funding for special education teachers, educational assistants, psychologists, behavioural therapists, school support counsellors, child and youth workers and speech-language pathologist.
  • Invest wisely with our public dollars by supporting and protecting our public schools and our public services.

A copy of the full statement can be viewed online here: https://shar.es/amhcKx

As the largest representatives of educators in Ontario, the five signatories were: the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Ontario, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), and the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).

All of the organizations expressed that Ontario needs a system-wide solution to support the different needs of students within schools because every child matters. “We believe no child should be sacrificed because of government cuts, and we believe in universal access to public education for all children regardless of family income, race, gender, sexual orientation, language and ability.”

For more information, please contact: Denise Hammond dhammond@etfo.org or via cell at 416-948-2428.