(Will this help the NDP in the upcoming elections? Will it help the Conservatives more?)
Education Minister Laurel Broten is imposing contracts on public school teachers under the controversial Bill 115 but has promised to repeal it because the wage freeze law has become a “lightning rod.”
“It’s an important step to find a way forward with our teachers,” she said Thursday in a reference to labour strife that has seen public elementary teachers hold one-day rotating strikes and join high school teachers in boycotting extracurricular activities.
[. . .]
The contracts imposed on public teacher unions at boards other than the 65 where deals have already been reached will be retroactive to last Sept. 1 and expire on Aug. 31, 2014.
Deals will freeze wages for most teachers but allow younger ones to continue moving up through the salary grid while cutting sick days in half to 10 and ending the banking of unused sick days for cash out upon retirement as the government fights a $14 billion deficit. The contracts mirror a deal negotiated with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association last summer.
“This is cynical politics at its worst,” said New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale—High Park), whose party voted against Bill 115, which passed last fall with support from the Progressive Conservatives.
DiNovo said she finds it “very hard to believe” repealing Bill 115 and imposing contracts will end the “disturbance” in classrooms.
“Nobody falls for this.”