Last Night, the United Steelworkers Local 2251 hosted an all-candidates meeting for the
upcoming provincial election. During the debate, Mike De Prat, President of Local 2251,
asked all of the candidates a question regarding workers’ safety and WSIB.
While answering Mr. De Prat’s question, NDP candidate Michele McCleave-Kennedy
referenced injuries that she has sustained on the job as an educational assistant,
stating that due to her latest injury she has been on modified work.
In Mr. Romano’s response to that same question, he dismissed the lived experience of
Ms. McCleave-Kennedy by suggesting that her being injured on the job “by children”
was not significant. Mr. Romano went further to call on the NDP candidate to “clarify”
her statement, urging her to backtrack on legitimate and relevant comments she made.
Safety in our schools for teachers, support staff, and administrators is a growing
concern in recent years. These are significant challenges that our education workers
face. The safety of our employees in any workplace is paramount. For Mr. Romano to
undermine these incidents faced by professionals like Ms. McCleave-Kennedy and
others is insensitive. I call on him to apologize to our colleague, and for him to rethink
his views of the work all educational workers provide.