Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageETFO teachers hold Super Tuesday one-day strikes against Bill 115 Special

By Andrew Moran     Dec 18, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Close to half of Ontario's teachers walked off the job on Tuesday over a contentious battle with Queen’s Park regarding Bill 115. The protests and rallies left hundreds of thousands of elementary and junior high school students out of the classroom.
Ontario’s teachers say their constitutional rights and the capability of bargain collective agreements have been stripped because of Bill 115 “The Putting Students First Act,” a piece of legislation that was passed in the Ontario Legislature and includes:
- A pay cut for 60 percent of teachers and 40 percent of teachers will only receive 50 percent of their scheduled increases
- A two-year pay freeze
- No salary increases in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years
- A reformed short-term sick leave plan including up to 10 sick days
- A 1.5 percent pay cut in the guise of three unpaid professional development days
Due to the bill, many elementary and secondary school teachers have ceased participating in after-school activities. Last week, even high school students walked out in protest against Bill 115 and headed towards Queen’s Park.
Approximately 35,000 teachers have held the one-day strike, also known as Super Tuesday, and have hit the picket lines across Ontario, including Durham, Lambton Kent, Greater Essex and Toronto. The major pickets are being held in front of the Toronto District School Board headquarters, the Ministry of Education and the constituency offices of three Liberal leadership candidates: Eric Hoskins, Kathleen Wynne and Glenn Murray
Elementary Teachers  Federation of Ontario held a one-day strike across the Toronto Area on what is ...
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario held a one-day strike across the Toronto Area on what is called "Super Tuesday." It also included a protest in front of Kathleen Wynne's constituency office in Leaside.
More than 100 people gathered outside of Wynne’s constituency office in Leaside. The protesters walked around in circles carrying anti-Bill 115 signs and other placards in support of the ETFO. As the cheerful crowd marched around, two women were singing revised Christmas carols that were attacks against exiting Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Wynne, who is one of the frontrunners to replace McGuinty at the end of January, has pledged to rebuild relations with Ontario’s teachers, if elected. The former Education Minister has vowed to listen to everyone.
“I have the utmost respect for teachers and support staff. I will sit down with our education partners to strengthen the bargaining process at both the provincial and, importantly, the local levels,” stated Wynne an interview with the Toronto Star. “I’m committed to an open and fair process. As education minister, I worked closely with the education sector to reduce class sizes, increase graduation rates, and increase test scores. One of the most important things to me is that we listen to each other as partners.”
On Tuesday morning, Wynne spoke with several teachers near the legislature regarding their concerns and issues. It hasn’t been confirmed if Wynne will address the crowd in front of her Don Valley West office.
Teachers will have until Dec. 31 to reach agreements with their respective boards. If a deal is not yet reached then wage freezes and reduced benefits will be put into place. The teachers’ union has said that if the government forces its measures on the teachers without the proper collective bargaining process then it could disrupt the schools because teachers would be less willing to participate in volunteer work.
McGuinty urged all the teachers to head “back to the bargaining table” and noted that Queen’s Park has already established agreements with three of the five provincial teachers’ federations. He also said that he will permit these one-day strikes to occur as long as they do not exceed the one day.
Elementary Teachers  Federation of Ontario held a one-day strike across the Toronto Area on what is ...
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario held a one-day strike across the Toronto Area on what is called "Super Tuesday." It also included a protest in front of Kathleen Wynne's constituency office in Leaside.
“I hope teachers will do as they've committed to do, which is to take no more than one day away from school,” the premier said in a statement. “I'm sure most teachers understand the need to freeze pay — after nine years of fair and steady increases — just as we're asking all public servants to do across the public sector."
However, EFTO president Sam Hammond suggested to CBC News that further one-day strikes could take place after the Dec. 31 deadline. But Education Minister Laurel Broten, who noted that Bill 115 will save the province $2 billion over the next two years, said if such actions are taken then it would be illegal.
Progressive Conservative Education Critic Lisa McLeod issued an open letter to Broten and urged her to utilize Bill 115 and impose the contracts on the province’s teachers.
“Minister, if you continue to turn a blind eye to this labour strife in Ontario's public schools, you are effectively ceding ground to union leaders who prefer a 5.5% increase in pay over peace and stability in our classrooms,” stated McLeod.
More about elementary teachers federation of ontario, Super tuesday, oneday strike, Ontario, Liberals
More news from
Latest News
Top News