Dear Members,
Many of you are aware of the presentation by ETFO to the Trustees at the Board meeting on Monday, and the media attention surrounding it. [membership]
Please share with your contacts that ETFO is advocating for their teachers, and they are also advocating for more EA support to address the violence in schools.
In Vice President, Jeff Pelich’s interview with CTV, he expressed that violence is on the rise against teachers but that EAs are primarily the victims. Unfortunately, this comment was cut from the reel.
Teacher unions, and the WRDSB, acknowledge that it is Members of the EAA who are wearing the majority of PPE, and it is EAA Members that have the most reported incidents of violence.
We (EAA) work closely with the local chapter of ETFO,  and rest assured we are unified in our efforts to raise awareness about Violence in Education as we work to reduce the incidents of violence in our schools.
Important to note, that as a result of Monday's presentation, the Board of Trustees have asked to be provided with statistics on violence in our schools, including - location, staff involved, occurrence, frequency and classroom evacuations.
Upon receiving the final reports it will be clear who faces the most incidents of violence in schools.
Kathy, Colleen and myself sit on various provincial committees that have been established to address the violence in the Education Workplace and have had an audience with the Minister of Education to discuss this issue.  We also are in meetings with the Superintendents and the Director discussing this issue. We have launched an awareness campaign and hold regular Health and Safety meetings with our EAA committee.
At our JHSC meeting Monday the committee will be discussing workplace violence and site-based risk assessments as per the recent MOL Education Initiative.
EAs and teachers work side by side in classrooms.   We all care about what happens to our friends, our co-workers, our students. Violence is affecting everyone. Embrace the conversations that are taking place, enlighten those who are unaware, stay united in our effort to bring change and make schools a safe place for all.
Please continue to advocate for your health and safety in your school, wear your teal ribbons and EAA t-shirts on Friday’s, attend union meetings, become a Key EA/CYW and keep sharing news reports on social media -encourage others to do the same. Change will come when we start raising our collective voices!
I welcome any further discussions on this matter.
Lisa Weiler Haskins
Educational Assistants Association
Health and Safety Officer
Phone: 519-624-1221
Fax:  519-624-4946

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