Ontario Reaches Another Education Deal
McGuinty Government Putting Students First
Ontario has reached an agreement with the Association of Professional Student Services Personnel that meets the province's fiscal targets without compromising the classroom experience or student achievement.
This agreement follows the roadmap set out in the deal reached earlier with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA). The deal with OECTA serves as a roadmap for school boards to use in local negotiations in order to meet the province's fiscal parameters.
After five months of negotiations and with a month left before contracts are set to automatically "rollover," Ontario is calling on school board trustees to negotiate and sign local agreements before teacher and support staff contracts expire on August 31, 2012.
An automatic "rollover" would lead to salary increases of 5.5 per cent for many teachers and result in the accumulation of two million more teacher sick days that could be cashed out at retirement.
The only way school boards would be able to fund this increase would be to impact education in the classroom.
Therefore if school board trustees are unwilling or unable to negotiate and sign local agreements before August 31 that prevent the "rollover" and comply with the province's fiscal parameters, as reflected in the OECTA deal, the government will introduce legislation to prevent it from happening.Eliminating Ontario's deficit is the single most important step toward growing the economy, to protect and create jobs and preserve significant gains made in education and health care. The province has asked doctors, broader public sector workers and teachers to hit the pause button on salary increases for two years.
- The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario have already indicated that strike votes will take place as early as late August, prior to the start of the school year.
- This Memorandum of Understanding with OECTA will save the province $250 million in 2012-13 growing to $540 million in the second year of the agreement if applied across the sector. In addition, we would achieve one-time savings of $1.4 billion.
- Ontario's graduation rate is now 82 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2003-04. About 93,000 more students have graduated than would have if the rate remained at 68 per cent.
- Sixty-nine per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students are mastering reading, writing and math skills. This represents a 15 percentage point increase since 2003.
- Read here for a timeline about ongoing labour discussions.
- Read the OECD report on "Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education" that showcases Ontario.
- Read another international study by McKinsey & Co., "How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better," which ranks Ontario's education system as one of the best.
“I have a responsibility to students, parents and the entire province to make sure school starts the day after Labour Day. School boards and unions must now do their part locally to get the job done. If they cannot or will not take action, we will.”
“The government's fiscal parameters are clear and we have to focus on reaching our targets through responsible local deals or by using the other tools available to the government, including legislation.”