Keep dispute out of schools: McGuinty
Return of extracurriculars would be good start in rebuilding relationship, premier says.
Premier Dalton McGuinty commented on the latest developments regarding teachers.
It has been a roller coaster ride for parents, but it’s time now to rebuild relationships between teachers, students, parents and government and returning extracurricular activity to schools would be a good start.
That was Premier Dalton McGuinty’s response to this morning’s classroom chaos in Ontario schools.
“The responsible thing for us to do is keep this dispute out of the schools,” he told reporters.
“We are asking the federation leaders to allow teachers to do what they most naturally want to do, which is devote themselves to their students. That means doing more than just show up for school hours; it means provide enriched activities before or after school.”
It would have been nice to ensure parents didn’t have to endure this morning’s pandemonium of on-again, off-again schooling, he said.
In an ideal world, the union would have given more lead time for a ruling to come through from the Ontario Labour Relations Board, he added.
But opposition leaders disagreed.
It’s not an ideal world, Tory education critic Lisa MacLeod said.
The Liberals could have prevented the turmoil, she said, by legislating a provincewide wage freeze.
“Bill 115 was half a loaf, but it was clear the union was not prepared to negotiate and the province was not prepared to play hardball,” she added.
Ontario Public School Boards' Association president Michael Barrett, who participated in yesterday's labour board hearing, said the story isn’t over yet.
Keeping schools open and minimizing possibility of future protests is in the best interest of students, he said.
“We still have much work to do to rebuild a damaged relationship and a flawed negotiation process," he added.
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