May 26, 2015
By Andy Johnson
If not for the N.D.P., more than 70-thousand high school students in Durham, Peel and the Sudbury area would be back in class today. However, Andrea Horvath’s New Democratic caucus at Queen’s Park refused to make it unanimous and that has delayed passage of back to work legislation, ordering striking teachers back to work. Education Minister Liz Sandals is confident that ordering teachers back to their jobs will save the school year for the 70,000 Ontario high school students impacted by the strike, but that will require a compressed curriculum.
The President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation says the legislation won’t solve the educational labour problems. Paul Elliot says those problems can only deepen, because there are a number of other education unions who are negotiating contracts. He foresees more showdowns with the government that will impact the start of the new school year in September. In addition, the provinces elementary teachers will be stepping up their work-to-rule campaign as of next Monday. Beginning June 1st, elementary teachers will refuse to plan field trips for next year, take part in meetings about students’ transition from one grade to the next or participate in professional development programs at the end of June or the start of September.