Published August 16, 2012 | 3:29 pm
Toronto: The governing Liberals are raising the stakes in their battle with Ontario teachers by releasing details of proposed legislation that would impose a wage freeze.Now Ontario teachers could not strike or be locked out by school boards under proposed legislation to freeze their wages for two years.
Ontario intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would put students and families first by ensuring education funding stays in the classroom and the next two school years are free from labour disruptions.
The Putting Students First Act, if passed, would require that school boards and local bargaining units of teachers and support staff 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. The legislation, if passed, would take effect Sept. 1 and therefore would also prevent automatic pay increases for teachers if current contracts roll over as scheduled on Aug. 31. It would be required, under the proposed act, that any increases paid to teachers and staff before the legislation passes be paid back.