ETFO wants province to close schools when buses cancelled
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says if it's not safe for buses to bring students to school, teachers shouldn't have to hit the road either.
The organization's members passed a resolution at their annual meeting this week to ask the province for legislation that would close schools when buses are cancelled.
Nancy Lawler of the Bluewater District School Board and ETFO local president says, "They do have that dilemma about do I go in, do I not go in, okay one moment it's clear, the next moment it's not...It's going to be an issue we're going to have to get some clarity on."
Supporters say teachers often don’t live in the area where they work, putting them at just as much risk as students on the road, without allowing them to stay home on bad-weather days.
Right now, when buses are cancelled but roads are still open, 76,000 elementary teachers in Ontario are asked to still make an attempt to get to work if they can do so safely.
But a teacher who tried to make it work on a snowy day this year near Peterborough was killed doing so.
The no buses, no schools resolution is not going to be a large part of the collective bargaining session this fall at a provincial level, although Lawler expects it come up at discussions between local boards and their teachers so it is more likely to be a case by case or board by board issue.
If this is adopted by school boards it would mean some big changes for parents who rely on the school not only for teaching their kids, but also looking after their children while they're at work.