By Barb McKay
Having contracts imposed by the Ontario Minister of Education came like a blow from a hammer, according to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario president.
Nancy Lawler told The Independent Monday that although teachers knew that the province could use its new legislation, Bill 115, to implement collective agreements, the announcement last Thursday from Education Minister Laurel Broten’s office came as a surprise.
“ETFO had offered a peace plan before the holidays saying we wouldn’t take any further action until a new Premier was in power,” she said.
The Ministry has indicated that all new contracts, for teachers and support staff, are retroactive to
“I want to commend and congratulate those school boards and union locals who negotiated agreements that met our fiscal plan,” Broten said in a media release. “Others will benefit from the terms of the negotiated agreement between the government and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association. I would ask everyone, especially teachers, to look carefully at the agreements being brought forward today. Our teachers remain among the best paid in
Along with announcing that contracts have been approved, Broten also said that she would repeal Bill 115, which had originally been requested by the unions.
“It’s like, ‘I’ve just hit you with a hammer and now I’m going to get rid of that hammer,’” Lawler said. “It’s a very hollow offer.”
Lawler, who sits on the provincial executive for the ETFO, said the executive were scheduled to meet yesterday and were inviting local presidents to be involved.
“We’ll be having hard and indepth discussions on how to move forward,” she said.
It’s unclear whether teachers will return to their roles with extra curricular activities at schools.
“I’ve been hearing from a number of members that they can’t believe that this has been imposed,” Lawler said. “Members have been told that if they want to take a pause…
“The good faith is gone.”