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School Board news from across Ontario.

Statement By Minister Sandals On Agreement With OSSTF

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Statement

Statement By Minister Sandals On Agreement With OSSTF

Ministry of Education

Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, issued the following statement about an agreement in principle with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

“The agreement we have reached with the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and its more than 60,000 members is a clear indication of the hard work that all parties are putting in to reaffirm and reinvigorate our partnership and our commitment to Ontario’s students.

The agreement resolves ongoing concerns across a number of areas while staying within the ministry’s funding envelope.

The idea of living within the existing funding envelope for education was by no means an impediment to our agreement today. Instead, it was a catalyst for innovative thinking, collaborative problem-solving and the renewal of our proud partnership with Ontario’s public high school teachers.

I want to thank everyone who participated in reaching this agreement. Both sides showed a willingness to seek common ground in support of our common goal – higher levels of student achievement. The result is an agreement that is fair for taxpayers, federation members and school boards, but the most important beneficiaries are Ontario’s students.”


Statement by Minister Sandals on OSSTF

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Statement by Minister Sandals on OSSTF

Ministry of Education

Today, Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, issued the following statement about the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF):

“Over the past number of weeks, we have been having positive, collaborative discussions with our education partners. Those discussions have been critical to rebuilding important relationships inside and outside of our schools and have already delivered results for students, parents, teachers and support staff, with the gradual return of extra-curricular activities at both elementary and secondary schools.

Our objective since the beginning of these discussions has been clear – repair the relationship so that we can focus on continuing to build one of the best education systems in the world.

Our fiscal constraints have also been clear. We have indicated on many occasions that anything we agree to with our partners must reflect our current fiscal situation and fit within the Ministry’s funding envelope. Recognizing this reality, our discussions have been focused on ensuring fairness and consistency in the application of the current agreement.

I am pleased that we have come to an agreement in principle with OSSTF that is focused on the fair and consistent application of the existing collective agreements, while reflecting the ministry’s fiscal situation. The government and OSSTF have been able to resolve implementation concerns identified in a number of areas including: sick leave, maternity leave, retirement gratuity, unpaid days, and local bargaining.

Details of the agreement will be shared with OSSTF members over the coming days, during the union’s approval process. In order to respect the process and the media blackout agreed to by both parties, I look forward to sharing details once OSSTF’s process is complete.

I am pleased that through hard work and a collaborative approach, we have been able to address some concerns of OSSTF members, and that we have helped restore an important relationship with a valued partner.”

Media Contacts

  • Mike Semansky

    Minister’s Office

    [email protected]

    416-325-0125


Premier’s Statement on ETFO and Extracurricular Activities

Ontario Newsroom Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Premier’s Statement on ETFO and Extracurricular Activities

March 26, 2013

Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement:
“I’m happy to learn that the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has suspended their advice to members regarding voluntary extracurricular activities. I hope that elementary school students, teachers and support staff across the province will once again enjoy the activities and programs that mean so much to them.

Today’s news is a great indication of the hard work all parties are putting into the repair of this valued relationship. It shows our willingness to work together, to listen to one another’s concerns, and to find common ground on which we can rebuild a foundation of trust and create an effective process going forward.

Our government has immense respect for the educators of this province and we recognize the important role they play in our children’s lives and in communities across Ontario.

Of course, we have been clear that this issue needs to be addressed within Ontario’s existing fiscal framework. But I am confident that our government’s commitment to fairness, consistency and respect in our conversations with ETFO and all our partners will continue to result in real work being done for the people of Ontario.”


Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Statement on the Return of Extracurricular Activities in Schools

Ontario Newsroom Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Statement on the Return of Extracurricular Activities in Schools

February 22, 2013

Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement:

“I’m happy to hear the results of today’s vote by OSSTF members, and I’m so glad that teachers, support staff and students across the province will once again enjoy the extracurricular activities and programs that mean so much to them.

For the past few weeks, my team and I have been meeting with our partners in the public sector and engaging in positive, frank and collaborative discussions about our shared priorities.

Our government has immense respect for the educators of this province and we recognize the important role they play in our children’s lives and in communities across Ontario.

Today’s news is a great indication of the hard work all parties are putting into the repair of this valued relationship. It shows our willingness to work together, to listen to one another’s concerns, and to find common ground on which we can rebuild a foundation of trust and create an effective process going forward.

I’ve been clear that this issue needs to be addressed within Ontario’s existing fiscal framework. But I am confident that our government’s commitment to fairness, consistency and respect in our conversations with OSSTF and all our partners will continue to result in real work being done for the people of Ontario.”


School board must abide by law: province

By Laurie Watt

Simcoe County District School Board cannot label a document “secret” and keep it private, says Ontario’s assistant privacy commissioner

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been modified from its original version to include a more complete account of a statement made by Simcoe County District School Board chair Rob North.
BARRIE – The Simcoe County District School Board cannot label a document “secret” and keep it private, says Ontario’s assistant privacy commissioner.
Last week, trustees discussed updating the board’s records and information management policy by adding a new “protection” paragraph. It wanted to withhold releasing documents that were “privileged,” “secret” or “essential to business continuity.”
School boards are expected to follow the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), said Brian Beamish, assistant commissioner with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office.
“An Ontario school board may not override the provisions of MFIPPA through its document classification process,” said Beamish, when The Advance questioned the legality of adding the “secret” clause.
The board’s businesses and facility services committee was poised to approve the change until Collingwood/Clearview’s Caroline Smith pointed out the board had to live by MFIPPA and the Education Act provisions.
Under the Privacy Act, only personnel/human resources, land acquisition and sale, and legal matters shall remain private. All else is considered public.
The Advance has been trying to get copies of the board’s business case for a $25-million south-end high school, a project the education ministry approved last month.
When initial inquiries were denied, the paper filed a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request Feb. 6 to obtain the grant submission paperwork.
Trustees decided to put their decision on the information policy off until March.
“We can pass any policy we want,” said board chairperson Rob North. “Under other acts, we are required to disclose records. For $5 and a letter, you can ask, and if those records are denied, there’s an appeal process.”
He acknowledged time is needed to get the policy right.
“As the privacy commissioner goes, you can’t say something’s secret because you want it to be,” North said after The Advance told him Beamish’s opinion on the board’s proposed change. “There were some points raised and we’ll double-check. We’re a learning organization like any other. We’ll make sure we have it right and make sure if people have concerns, they can express them.”


Laurel Broten and Eric Hoskins dropped from major portfolios in Wynne’s cabinet shuffle.

Aside from the Ontario Liberals quitting or refusing cabinet positions, before the new Liberal Premier Katherine took office, Wynne announced today that Deb Matthews, remains Minister of Health and Long -Term Care, Wynne also dumps Dr. Eric Hoskins in favor of back bencher Teresa Piruzza as Minister of Children & Youth Services and also brings back bencher Liz Sandals, stripping the now demoted Laurel Broten as Ontario’s Minister of Education.

Lets hope the new Premier, responds to thousands of calls for reform and begins to implement sweeping changes to the MUSH sector.


SCDSB considers ways to restrict info

By Laurie Watt 

SIMCOE COUNTY – Simcoe County trustees will take a month to ponder whether they should further restrict access to information by adding words like “secret” and “classified” to an information management policy.
Business services superintendent Brian Jeffs recommended adding a “protection” clause to the board’s records and information management policy in what he said was a routine policy update.
However, the update came weeks after the board refused to disclose a business case on the new south Barrie secondary school, a project the education ministry approved and set aside $25 million for last month. The Advance had repeatedly asked for the business case through routine disclosure and received nothing. An FOI has now been filed in another attempt to obtain the business case.
Collingwood/Clearview Trustee Caroline Smith said she has also asked for the document, and has not been able to obtain it.
She said the proposed policy update doesn’t define or say who should define “secret” or “classified”. She said those words may contravene the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Education Act, both of which apply to school boards.
“I’m really concerned about the words ‘secret’ and ‘classified’. One responsibility is to be a transparent government (organization) and what is listed in the Education Act is what we can share,” she said.
Jeffs said the new clause came directly from generally accepted record-keeping principles (GARP) and were suggested by the board’s FOI officer Gina Coish.
“This is Gina’s work,” he said. “She is perceived as one of the experts in this area.”
Education director Kathi Wallace said the update isn’t so time-sensitive it couldn’t wait until March.
However, under the FOI Act, the board could request a 30-day extension on any requests filed, which would add an additional 30 days to its response, and take its deadline to decide on whether it will release the business case into early April.
” I don’t see the issue. We can pass any policy we want,” said board chairperson Rob North. “Under other acts we are required to disclose records. For $5 and a letter, you can ask, and if those records are denied, there’s an appeal process.”
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Join us at our Second Annual Liberal Convention Oversight Rally

Because we need the support of every political party to ensure oversight of the CAS, Long-Term Care, Hospitals etc., we are holding our Second Annual Liberal Convention Rally this Saturday January 26 at 9:00 AM. Last years rally outside the Liberal Convention was a huge success and began to draw support from within their party and it’s members. This years Liberal Convention is being held in Toronto and we need your help to continue pressuring elected officials and the people who run the Liberal party to support our Ombudsman Bills when they get reintroduced.

Facebook Event Page
Date: Jan 26
Time: 9:00 AM
Where: Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton Street, Toronto


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Ontario to Repeal Putting Students First Act

News Release


Ontario to Repeal Putting Students First Act

McGuinty Government Supporting Stability in Schools

Ministry of Education

Ontario has announced its intention to repeal Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, to be effective Jan. 23, 2013

The legislation achieved its goal of ensuring fair, balanced and responsible collective agreements for teachers and support staff while protecting the gains made in education and reflecting the province’s fiscal reality.

By moving to repeal the act, the government is promoting goodwill and stability in Ontario’s schools by addressing a key concern of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation.

More than 100,000 teachers and support staff are benefiting from negotiated agreements that meet the government’s fiscal goals while supporting student achievement. The remainder of collective agreements were put in place under the Putting Students First Act. 

The McGuinty government is committed to protecting the gains Ontario has made in education while taking steps to eliminate the deficit. New collective agreements announced this year ensure the government can meet its fiscal goals while continuing to rollout full-day kindergarten, maintaining smaller class sizes and protecting 20,000 teaching and support staff jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The Putting Students Act was passed on Sept. 11, 2012.
  • Local collective agreements put in place under the act are based on the terms of the negotiated agreement between the government and OECTA and other memoranda of understanding signed before Aug. 31, 2012.
  • The new contracts will save the province $250 million in 2012-13, growing to $540 million in 2013-14. This is in addition to one-time savings of $1.1 billion, primarily from the elimination of banked sick days.

Quotes

Headshot

The Putting Students First Act is a bipartisan solution to a province-wide issue – ensuring fair collective agreements for teachers and support staff while addressing Ontario’s deficit. The act accomplished that goal and is no longer needed. What is needed now is a return to stability in our schools and that includes extracurricular activities for Ontario’s students.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Education


Media Contacts

  • Paris Meilleur

    Minister’s Office

    [email protected]

    416-325-2194

  • Andrew Morrison

    Communications Branch

    [email protected]

    416-325-2454


Ontario imposes contracts on public school teachers


The Ontario government will attempt to end a months-long dispute by imposing contracts on its public school teachers, Education Minister Laurel Broten announced this morning.

Using powers the government gained under controversial Bill 115 last fall, Broten said the government will force contracts on about 130,000 elementary and secondary school teachers.

The agreements will be similar to deals signed by Catholic and French-language teachers last year. They will include:

  • Freezing wages for most teachers.
  • A reduction in sick days.
  • A limit on the amount of unclaimed sick days that teachers can cash out when they retire.

The imposed contracts will expire in August 2014.

Broten said the move to impose contracts was needed to avoid pay increases the province can’t afford as it struggles to pare back a $14-billion deficit.

The move comes after months of stalled negotiations and a series of rotating one-day walkouts by elementary teachers in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break.

Further strike action illegal

Broten also said Thursday the government will repeal Bill 115 once the contracts are in place, saying the bill has become a “lightning rod” in the dispute between the province and teachers.

She said the bill has served its purpose by leading to contracts with teachers, and described the move to repeal it by month’s end as an act of “good faith” by the province.

Teachers’ unions have warned that the Liberals would be asking for trouble if they force new agreements on their members, and have vowed to stage “days of protest” to fight it.

It’s not clear whether those protests will involve more walkouts, but Broten said Thursday any strike action by teachers is now illegal until the imposed contracts expire.

Some teachers have also stopped supervising extracurricular activities and coaching sports teams.

“I urge teachers not to move to illegal strikes,” said Broten.

NDP criticizes government move

NDP education critic Cheri DiNovo said the government’s move to use and then repeal Bill 115 is an example of “Liberal backroom cynical politics at its worst.”

“You don’t impose agreements; you come to agreements,” said DiNovo, who also pointed out that the legislation is the subject of a court challenge.

The fight with teachers will be key to the fortunes of Ontario’s minority Liberal government as the party prepares to select a new leader later this month.

The Liberals could also find themselves on the campaign trail early in 2013 if the new premier fails to get support from opposition members.