MPP Thompson OP ED on rotating strikes

The ongoing labour disruption caused by teachers’ unions in communities across Huron-Bruce has caused uncertainty and left many Ontario families scrambling to find child care.
Our Government has been clear since day one of this process: we want deals that keep students in classrooms. It is deeply disappointing that teachers’ union leadership has decided to escalate so drastically in such a short period.
Our priority is to invest in frontline classroom supports – we have demonstrated consistently that we are being reasonable and are focused on outcomes for students by making major moves that have not been matched or reciprocated by the teachers’ unions at the bargaining table.
We have made key investments in mental health support and special education funding so that the needs of every student is met. In your schools, across Huron-Bruce, we have invested over $1.1 Million this school year alone for special education supports, equipment and supplies.
We have listened to families and students across Ontario, and made a significant move that reduced proposed changes to secondary classroom sizes from 28 to 25.
We will continue to listen to parents as evidenced by reducing required online learning credits from 4 to 2. We have also communicated our complete commitment to the current kindergarten model. The union leaders are trying to lead people to believe otherwise.
While we are making these reasonable moves and listening to the families and students we serve, teacher unions continue to escalate, including on the very days we’ve made these announcements, undermining the certainty that students deserve. An integral part of ensuring Ontario’s students are successful in the classroom and beyond is having the best teacher helping them along the way.
Unfortunately, due to concessions by the previous Liberal Government, at the insistence of the teachers’ unions, teachers are now hired based primarily on seniority – rather than on merit.
Younger teachers can be stuck in supply teaching roles for years, limiting diversity and equity in hiring. School boards are hampered by their inability to hire teachers that reflect the needs of the schools in Huron-Bruce.
This hiring practice could potentially hurt your child’s education. It means principals cannot hire the best teacher over one with more seniority. It means principals cannot hire a teacher that reflects the needs of our community over one with more seniority. It means principals cannot hire a new teacher, with fresh perspectives and modern teaching methods, over one with more seniority.
We’re fighting to change this. Your child deserves to be taught by the best teacher.
While teacher unions are creating hardship on families and students, our Government is taking proactive steps to ensure students remain cared for, and families are supported.
Our Government has launched its Support for Parents Initiative that puts money directly into the pockets of parents to help address these realities. For more information on Support for Parents, visit
The immense uptake of our Support for Parents Initiative speaks volumes to the level of uncertainty union-led strike actions have caused.
Students should be in class.
I am calling on the education unions to stop this escalation which creates disruption for parents and students.