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LETTER: MPP's former teacher has some pointed questions for Dunlop

Former teacher 'disappointed' Dunlop 'broke (her) promise' to be at her office during Friday's protest
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OrilliaMatters received the following letter from John Winchester who is making a second plea for answers from Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop.
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Since it has been a few weeks since my last letter, and I have yet to receive a reply, it’s time for another.

If teachers did not respond to letters, phone calls, and email messages in the same manner, this would be a serious concern. Perhaps there are different standards for our elected representatives.

To the matter at hand, let me say how disappointed I am that you broke your promise to be in your constituency office on Friday, May 10. When District 17 President Jen Hare arranged our education rally, over a week ago, she was assured that you would be present. After all, Fridays are Constituency Days.

Regardless, between 80 and 90 attended, including a few of the Simcoe County District School Board's (SCDSB) 70 teachers who have lost their teaching positions for next year.

All speakers expressed concerns about the impact education cuts will have on our students and educators. We had lots of support from drivers honking their vehicles’ horns as well.

Not a single negative comment from anyone in the hour that we were there. Had you not stood us up, you could have seen and heard it. It was impressive.

Unlike my last letter, this one will ask you only three questions. If you choose to reply, please refrain from recycling the government’s talking points about ‘layoffs being a normal process done every year’ and ‘school budgets are very complicated’.

I was a teacher for 30 years. I taught you, your brother, and other family members. Increasing the parent-teacher ratio by 27% is not normal. Neither is issuing redundancy letters to 70 SCDSB teachers.

If ‘not a single teacher will lose their job’, as we’ve heard repeatedly, how can we be assured that all of the 2000-plus teachers across Ontario who have received redundancy letters will be back in their current school, with their contract reinstated (not replacing another teacher on leave), teaching their (now cancelled, as a result of increased class sizes) courses, and their students’ timetables will be, once again, adjusted to include these (now cancelled) courses?

If this comes to pass, will all of the stress inflicted unnecessarily on teachers, students, and their families be the fault of the school boards, which issued the redundancy letters?

Will this process repeat itself in 2020, 2021, and 2022?

Once again, looking forward to a reply at your earliest convenience.

John Winchester
Orillia

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