Many people are wondering what will happen next in the ongoing labour dispute. The most likely scenario is this:
- On December 31st, the Minister of Education will impose two-year contracts on employees in all of the province’s public, Catholic and French schools. She has the right to do this under the new education law (Bill 115). Bill 115 also gives the Minister Education the right to extend the imposed contracts for a third year. This will affect teachers, principals and support staff.
- Once contracts are imposed all “strike action” will be against the law, including working to rule. BUT withdrawing extra curricular and other strictly voluntary activities is not considered strike action – so students in many schools may continue to go without things like sports, arts programs and clubs, and that could last as long as three years.
- Teachers’ federations may hold a one-day provincial day of protest in the new year, but it is unlikely there will be the kinds of strikes that have happened over the last few weeks.
- The unions have mounted a court challenge to the new law, but this could take as long as five years to make its way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
- At the end of January, Ontario will have a new Premier and perhaps a new Cabinet. This may open up some new possibilities for compromise.
For more information:
Watch The Agenda on TVO, with Annie Kidder, People for Education, Michael Barrett, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Hirad Zafari, Ontario Student Trustees’ Association and Adam Radwanksi, Globe and Mail.
From People for Education Newsletter