CUPE Ontario, the union representing 45,000 school support workers in Ontario, has launched a province-wide radio campaign calling on Ontarians to vote for candidates who will fix the faulty school funding formula now. The campaign kicked off today on the first day back to school and will run in cities across Ontario until September 10.
“With school boards grappling with a continued funding crisis, we’re asking parents to vote their conscience and vote for candidates who will fix the faulty funding formula now,” said Fred Hahn, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “People are frustrated that the McGuinty Liberals made a promise to fix the faulty funding formula brought in by the Conservatives, but haven’t. It’s time to take this issue to the ballot box to bring about the changes that our kids and our schools deserve.”
Hahn said that a recent funding announcement from the McGuinty government will provide some temporary relief, but parents and school boards shouldn’t be fooled by such an outright election ploy as the October 10 vote looms.
“It’s a quick fix that won’t solve the ongoing crisis that school boards face,” said Hahn. “Custodians and secretarial staff have continued to be laid off, jeopardizing school safety and health. Educational Assistants continue to have their jobs cut or have their hours cut back, hurting our schools’ most vulnerable students.”
“Let’s not forget that this problem was brought about courtesy of the Conservatives when they were in power,” noted Hahn. “Their current platform, with its divisive proposal to fund faith-based schools, will only suck further money out of the already beleaguered public education budget in this province.”
So far, only the NDP have promised to fix the funding formula by the end of the coming school year. “Public education is an essential value and service that voters of Ontario expect our government to provide in a comprehensive way,” adds Hahn. “It is why CUPE Ontario, the province’s largest public sector union, is advocating that it’s time for government to put people first—instead of private profits or tax cuts—in this and all other public services. The NDP is the only party with a platform to do that for public education.”
CUPE Ontario’s ads will run in cities including Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, Brockville, Oshawa/Durham, Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catharines and Windsor.
For further information, contact:
Valerie Dugale CUPE Communications 416-299-9739 ext 264 or 647-225-3685
Fred Hahn CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer 416-299-9739 ext 308 or 416-540-3979