Class Action

Class Action

How Ontario’s Elementary Teachers Became a Political Force

By Andy Hanson



Available for purchase on September 15, 2021

In this inspiring history of a union, labour historian Andy Hanson delves deep into the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and how it evolved from two deeply divided unions to one of the province’s most united and powerful voices for educators.

Today’s teacher is under constant pressure to raise students’ test scores, while the rise of neoliberalism in Canada has systematically stripped our education system of funding and support. But educators have been fighting back with decades of fierce labour action, from a landmark province-wide strike in the 1970s, to record-breaking front-line organizing against the Harris government and the Common Sense Revolution, to present-day picket lines and bargaining tables.

Hanson follows the making of elementary teachers in Ontario as a distinct class of white-collar, public-sector workers who awoke in the last quarter of the twentieth century to the power of their collective strength.