Ontario Putting Students and Families First
McGuinty Government Protecting the Classroom Experience, Fighting the Deficit
The passage of the Putting Students First Act protects the gains made in education while ensuring that the next two school years will be free from labour disruptions.
The Putting Students First Act - based on the memorandum of understanding between the government and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) - gives school boards, teachers and support staff until Dec. 31 to engage in local collective bargaining and accept agreements consistent with the government's fiscal and policy priorities. These priorities include maintaining investments in full-day kindergarten, keeping class sizes small and protecting funds earmarked for the classroom.
Over the next two years, the Putting Students First Act will save taxpayers $2 billion.
Eliminating Ontario's deficit is the single most important step toward growing the economy, protecting and creating jobs, and preserving gains made in education. The McGuinty government is committed to working with all of its partners in education to eliminate the deficit while continuing to protect the classroom experience.
- The Putting Students First Act is retroactive to Sept. 1 and requires that any automatic pay increases received after Aug. 31 are paid back.
- The government has already signed agreements with OECTA and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, which together represent more than half of Ontario’s school boards and 55,000 teachers.
- The government has also signed an agreement with the Association of Professional Student Services Personnel and almost 3,000 education assistants.
- Ontario's schools will be safer, more accepting and inclusive places to learn this year thanks to the passage of the Accepting Schools Act — giving all students the support they need to grow and reach their full potential.
- 70 per cent of grade 3 and 6 students are mastering reading, writing, and math — an increase of 16 percentage points since 2003.
- More high school students are graduating than ever before — now up to 82 per cent, from 68 per cent in 2003-04.
“This legislation is another way our government is taking strong action to put students first and to maintain Ontario’s reputation as a world leader in publicly funded education. We’re working hard to protect the extraordinary gains we’ve made together in education over the last nine years.”