Education minister says unions focusing on themselves, not kids
High school teachers in Ontario are putting off strike action for the moment, but they plan to go ahead with ceasing all extra-curricular and voluntary activities by Dec. 10, Ken Coran, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, announced on Dec. 3.
Teachers across the province have been actively protesting Bill 115, which imposes a contract on them, freezes their wages, cuts their sick days and bans them from striking. Education Minister Laurel Broten, along with Premier Dalton McGuinty, have defended the bill, saying wage freezes are necessary in order to help alleviate Ontario’s $14 billion deficit.
The union has said it will notify parents of any planned strike action within 72 hours, but Bill 115 gives Broten the power to order teachers back to work in the event of a strike.
Broten blamed union leaders on Monday for increasing job action and says they are focusing more on striking rather than trying to come to an agreement.
“If you want a fight instead of a fix, then take your fight to the courts, but keep the kids out of it,” Broten said Monday. “I am asking the union leadership to choose improvements for the kids over improvements for themselves.”