News · Message from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) Provincial Executive for Labour Day 2023



Message from the OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Executive for Labour Day 2023

September 1, 2023

To the members of OSSTF/FEESO,

For over 100 years, labour councils, trade unions, workers, and their families have come together on this day to recognize and celebrate the vital role that workers play in our society.

More recently, the labour movement’s essential role as defender of workers’ rights has taken on new levels of importance and perseverance as we fight back against the Ford government’s anti-worker, anti-education, and anti-public service policies.

We can take inspiration from this difficult time as the challenges and crises created by the Ford government have deepened our resolve and strengthened our solidarity. It is often in the times of greatest labour backlash that workers become the most united. As a unified force against austerity measures and moves to privatization of public services, labour has historically been able to challenge the agendas of anti-worker governments.

But the labour movement can’t do this alone. Parents, guardians, and community members are a vital part of the fight to protect and enhance public services in Ontario. The people of Ontario overwhelmingly support public services, including public education; they have had enough of Ford’s deliberate underfunding of education and shortchanging of students. That’s why it’s important for the whole community to join with workers, on Labour Day and every day, in the fight against the Ford government’s failed policies.

It’s up to all of us to lift up workers in our schools and on our campuses. They are the dedicated and caring professionals who serve the students of Ontario every single day, from our earliest learners to post-secondary and beyond.

As OSSTF/FEESO moves forward in our negotiations with the Ford government, we will continue to fight for better learning conditions for students and improved working conditions for staff. Across the labour movement, workers and their representatives are in a battle with aggressive, shortsighted governmental policies and practices that seek to remove hard-earned workers’ rights and benefits. It is always the labour movement’s goal to make a better tomorrow for students, workers, and communities.

This Labour Day, may we be reminded of the power of unity and the ability of labour to improve lives and strengthen communities. We urge everyone to celebrate the value that workers bring to the province.

Wishing everyone a joyous, safe, and restful Labour Day!

  • Karen Littlewood, President
  • Martha Hradowy, Vice President
  • Malini Leahy, Vice President
  • Roxanne Beauchamp, Executive Officer
  • Sherry-Ann Bowen-Gordon, Executive Officer
  • Colin Matthew, Executive Officer
  • Jeff Denys, Treasurer

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