Mar 04, 2016

By Michael Kramer

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The government of Ontario saved $40 million when high school teachers in three boards – went on strike for several weeks last year.

Responding to questions on Monday from the NDP, Education Minister Liz Sandals said part of the reason for lower-than-expected spending – was that teachers who go on strike, don’t get paid.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had referred to a line in the budget that showed education spending was $430 million less than projected in the fall economic statement – and said  the Liberal government is cutting education spending.

Following question period on Monday, Sandals said the $430 million was due to a number of factors, including – the strike savings, the amortization of capital costs and lower-than-projected student enrolment.

But the Education Minister’s office wasn’t able to say until four days later – how much of the $430 million was attributable to not having to pay the striking teachers.

There were more than 70,000 high school students in the Toronto-area regions of Durham and Peel and the Sudbury-area Rainbow District – out of class for weeks – as their teachers went on strikes that were brought to an end when the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled they were illegal.

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