Published September 11, 2012 | 1:04 pm
Toronto: Ontario MPPs have passed the controversial bill 115, known as the Putting Students First Act that will force a new contract on thousands of Ontario teachers and education workers and ban strikes or lockouts for two years.
The governing Liberals relied on the support of the opposition Progressive Conservatives in order to get the legislation passed Tuesday.
The minority Liberals and Progressive Conservatives joined hands to pass the legislation, which has angered unions and a national civil liberties group.
The governing Liberals brought back the legislature early to get the bill passed before Sept. 1.The bill, which passed by a vote of 82 to 15, would force new contracts on the majority of teachers and education workers in the province to help eliminate Ontario’s $15-billion deficit.
The “Putting Students First Act” imposes a contract on elementary and secondary teachers across the province, as well as 50,000 support staff. The bill freezes wages, ends sick-day banking and bans strikes for two-years.
“I think we’re on track speaker,” premier Dalton McGuinty told the House. “We’re doing what we need to do and putting the needs of students and families first.”
NDP voted against the bill.