Ottawa teachers’ unions call on Ottawa Public Health to keep schools closed

Ottawa teachers’ unions call on Ottawa Public Health to keep schools closed

Writer of the article:

Andrew Duffy

Students return to in-class learning earlier last year after a four-week COVID-19 shutdown at Vincent Massey Public School
College students return to in-class learning earlier closing one year after a four-week COVID-19 shutdown at Vincent Massey Public College Portray by BLAIR GABLE /REUTERS

A coalition of Ottawa lecturers’ unions has known as on Ottawa Public Health to explain its vitality and present town’s faculties to remain closed till the education arrangement is better ready to face the Omicron variant.


In a joint letter issued Saturday to town’s medical officer of health, the lecturers’ unions asked Dr. Vera Etches to end Ottawa faculties to in-person learning till N95 masks are issued to all lecturers and students.

They also identify on educators and students to be given vaccine priority, and HEPA-unit filters installed in every college room.

“We will not danger the seemingly of extreme illness for any of our education workers, students or their kin,” the unions talked about.

“It is miles always illustrious that COVID-19 is steadily milder in formative years, but we want to set up in thoughts that long COVID is an exact possibility, and a replacement of formative years in the U.S. were hospitalized, and youngsters are living in households and communities.


“With a growing replacement of instances in our faculties, we predict about Ottawa wants to end in-person learning till our faculties are get.”

The unions asked Etches to desire matters into her procure fingers, end Ottawa faculties, and temporarily build learning on-line. They known as the model “the most prudent pathway” to guaranteeing security for all.

Etches may perchance well not be reached for comment Saturday.

The letter became as soon as issued as COVID-19 instances persisted to climb impulsively. The province reported a one-day assemble bigger of 10.4 per cent Saturday with a file-high 18,445 instances recorded by Public Health Ontario.

In accordance with provincial figures, Ottawa recorded 1,482 instances of COVID-19 on the closing day of 2021.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an companion professor of family pills on the College of Ottawa, talked about an interior info dashboard at The Ottawa Sanatorium shows 51 sufferers are if truth be told in health center with COVID-19, six of those in intensive care.


The initiating letter became as soon as signed by six local lecturers’ union presidents, at the side of Susan Gardner, president of the Ottawa Carleton Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Michele Pierce, president of the Ottawa unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Affiliation, and Stephanie Kirkey, president of District 25 of the Ontario Secondary College Teachers’ Federation.

Closing week, the provincial govt announced Ontario public faculties will not resume lessons till Jan. 5. The 2-day lengthen became as soon as designed, the province’s chief medical officer of health talked about, to present faculties beyond regular time to prepare to delivery out safely in January.

Dr. Kieran Moore talked about all college workers would be equipped with N95 masks, and students would be equipped three-ply cloth masks. The province also vowed to install 3,000 extra HEPA-unit filters to boot to the 70,000 already in speak.


Teachers’ unions in Ottawa, then again, contend the measures attain not go far enough and tumble far making an are attempting what’s wished to withhold faculties get.

“Whereas we are all excited concerning the mental health of our students, a essential contribution to the stress and fright spherical college has been ongoing and unpredictable swap,” the unions wrote.

The lecturers asked Etches to imply for additonal layers of protection for faculties, at the side of diminished class sizes to enable for physical distancing. They also identify on masks made essential for all students, at the side of those in kindergarten, and like a flash antigen testing made broadly on hand to workers and students.

“You may perchance well maybe even hold the authority to prioritize education workers and various essential workers,” the unions told Etches. “We trek you to behave now.”

Closing week, better than 600 Ontario physicians signed a letter to Premier Doug Ford, urging him to withhold faculties delivery in January for the sake of the social, physical and mental effectively-being of the province’s formative years.

The Ottawa lecturers’ unions contend the provincial govt has “consistently prioritized financial activity and appeasing exchange pursuits over the necessity to in the reduction of the unfold of the virus and give protection to the health of Ontarians.”

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