News · Results of survey of educators exposes the failure of the Ford government on education



Results of survey of educators exposes the failure of the Ford government on education

Toronto - November 27, 2020 — Yesterday, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) released the results of a mental health check-in survey conducted in mid-October. The survey asked a number of questions of educators around their personal health, well-being and their concerns about safety protocols at schools. Over 1,400 members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) participated in the survey, and their results are aggregated below.

CTF reported the following notable findings of educators in general:

  • 46% of educators are very stressed, struggling to cope, and increasingly feeling unhappy.
  • Upholding basic levels of daily physical health has become increasingly difficult for teachers.
  • There is a need for multiple layers of support—at the school, from the school boards, and from the Ministry of Education, to listen to, recognize, and respond to the very real issues teachers, education workers, and their students are facing in this time of pandemic.

There were very similar responses by OSSTF/FEESO members in the same survey, including:

  • 71% said continual shifts in their work environment were very or severely frustrating.
  • 62% said maintaining a positive and energetic attitude while teaching greatly or severely affects their emotional health.
  • 58% said managing student behaviour and juggling multiple responsibilities greatly or severely affects their emotional health.
  • 78% said meeting their personal and professional expectations was very or severely exhausting or draining.
  • 83% said the time they spend on a computer or digital devices is very or severely exhausting or draining.
  • 41% said that they are barely coping or not coping at all with the daily stress of teaching.
  • 76% said that they feel not supported at all by the Ministry of Education, and 70% said that they feel barely supported or not supported at all by their school board.

In addition, OSSTF/FEESO survey participants ranked workload/work-live balance, and stress/anxiety/depression as their top two concerns about their personal mental health.

“These survey results provide ample proof that the Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce plan for publicly-funded education during the COVID pandemic is failing frontline educators,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof.

“Teachers and education workers in Ontario, and across the country, are working their hardest to provide the best quality of education possible under difficult circumstances. Yet, the Ford government refuses to recognize the effects of their ill-conceived plan for publicly-funded schools, and their insistence on refusing to consult frontline educators. Instead, they sought the advice of an American consulting company as cited in the latest report from Auditor General,” continued Bischof.

“We have a government that continues to show its contempt for education workers, teachers, and the publicly-funded education system in Ontario. They continue to allow large class sizes, increasing the health risks to students and staff, and put forth inconsistent policies and mixed messages when it comes to school safety standards. We’ve seen the same disregard for frontline workers in many sectors by the Ford government. Ford has still not provided a coherent and comprehensive plan for any of them.”

In the end, the education workers and teachers feel completely ignored by their government and their school board employers so we are raising the alarm,” concluded Bischof.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has over 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

Contact Information

Harvey Bischof, President

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation

Phone: 416-751-8300

Toll Free: 1-800-267-7867

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