Ontario Saves School Year for 72,000 High School Students
Protecting the School Year Act Supports Student Achievement
Today, Ontario passed the Protecting the School Year Act, 2015, which will save the school year for 72,000 secondary students in Durham, Rainbow and Peel district school boards who have missed weeks of class after strikes by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation.
The Protecting the School Year Act, 2015, was introduced following an advisement from the Education Relations Commission on May 25 that secondary students in the three affected boards were in jeopardy of not being able to complete their school year.
An Ontario Labour Relations Board decision on May 26 ruled that the strikes in Durham, Peel and Sudbury were unlawful and ordered a two-week moratorium on future strikes. However, the Board's ruling does not prevent a strike in Durham, Peel and Sudbury from resuming in June.
Passing the Protecting the School Year Act, 2015 guarantees that all secondary students in Durham, Rainbow and Peel district school boards can successfully complete their school year without fear of further interruptions. This legislation ensures that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation is prevented from legally striking in the three affected school boards for the remainder of 2014-2015 school year.
Supporting student achievement and well-being is an essential part of the government's plan for Ontario. The Protecting the School Year Act ensures that secondary students can complete their courses, advance to the next grade, and graduate to postsecondary education or enter the workforce. The government is now focused on working with school boards to ensure students affected by strikes are given every opportunity to succeed for the remainder of the school year.
- On May 25, the Education Relations Commission issued an advisement that that students in Durham, Rainbow and Peel district school boards were in jeopardy of not being able to complete their school year.
- On May 26, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation strikes in Durham, Rainbow, and Peel district school boards were unlawful under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014. After the ruling, secondary teachers at the three boards returned to school on May 27.
- On May 27, the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation announced that secondary teachers in Durham, Rainbow and Peel district school boards would resume striking on June 10, following a two-week moratorium on strikes ordered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
- Before returning to class on May 27, full-time and occasional secondary school teachers had been on strike since April 20 in Durham District School Board, April 27 at Rainbow District School Board, and May 4 at Peel District School Board.
“Our government’s first priority is supporting student achievement and well-being. We have tremendous respect for both teachers and the collective bargaining process, but after weeks of strikes, students’ needs are paramount, and what they need most is to be able to complete their school year.”
“The Protecting the School Year Act, 2015, is important legislation for thousands of students, as well as parents and communities that have been affected by weeks of unlawful strikes. Passing this Act today provides for a fair, mediated and arbitrated settlement process for local issues while providing certainty for students, parents and teachers.”