With the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases across the province and in the GTA, the announcement earlier this week of a continuation of face-to-face learning for many of your students is of great concern. Given the high-needs student population that you serve, the resumption of face-to-face learning poses a very real threat to the health and safety of both educators and students in these programs.
I want you to know that we, as your union, have your back. Each of you are very much at the forefront of ETT efforts to press the TDSB to fulfill its obligations to provide safe and healthy workplaces for all. There are a number of ongoing efforts to reach out to Senior Management and Trustees at the Board to highlight the urgency of the current situation faced by all of you and to make very specific demands.
In addition to lobbying the Associate Director, Andrew Gold, and TDSB Chair, Alexander Brown, I have also joined with other local education affiliate presidents to submit a written deputation to the Board of Trustees that can be viewed here:
In addition, I have written a letter to ETFO President Sam Hammond urging our provincial union to engage in immediate lobbying efforts to demand a response from the provincial government to the plight faced by education workers in ISP programs and congregated sites across the province.
We continue to demand the following:
- Complete a current risk assessment of congregated sites and ISP Programs with the TDSB Joint Health and Safety Committee.
- That the TDSB and TPH immediately establish a threshold of positivity rates for schools to safely re-open.
- That schools and sites reopen only to those students who are unable to learn remotely and that criteria are established to make this determination in consultation with stakeholders.
- That N-95 masks and other enhanced PPE be made available to all staff.
- That a TPH nurse be assigned to all congregated sites/ISP’s to work with staff to determine ongoing issues, needs, and health & safety best practices.
- Training for all staff during the instructional day on COVID-19 procedures and other health and safety measures, e.g., updating safety plans.
- Rapid asymptomatic testing at all sites and schools where face-to-face instruction continues.
- That, in the event of a positive COVID-19 case, school/program administrators immediately inform all staff of the location of the positive case in the school as well the appropriate reporting procedures (Accident/Injury Report & WSIB Exposure).
- Increased staffing necessary to carry out enhanced daily cleaning protocols, as well as daily electrostatic cleaning in every area of the school, especially high traffic areas.
- Daily screening of students by school/program administrators prior to admission.
- Advise all Administrative Teams to review updated cleaning and disinfecting protocols with staff
- That there be specific health and safety measures for any students who require aerosolized procedures, including where such procedures will take place.
- An immediate response to these concerns and solutions.
As we continue to advocate on your behalf, we remain committed to open, two way communications with you. Updates will be provided as they become available via the ETT Weekly bulletin and on the ETT Website. Please continue to reach out to your ETT Executive Officer for support and assistance and to highlight other issues that may require the attention of the ETT Executive.
Yours in solidarity,