MPP issues a statement on teachers’ strike action

On Thursday, March 5th, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker, issued the following statement in response to continued strike action by the teachers’ unions:

During the negotiation process, the Government tabled proposals with each of the education sector unions, which included substantive moves on lowering class sizes, support for students’ unique learning needs, full-day kindergarten, as well as reasonable proposals on merit-based hiring and compensation.

While we continue to make reasonable proposals at the bargaining table, the unions have not made any substantive changes to their original proposals. Our proposals include a funded maximum average class size of 23 in secondary school and replacing the previous Local Priorities Fund with a new, student-centric Supports for Students Fund which allow boards more flexibility to address students’ unique learning needs, including special education, mental health, and STEM education. We are also keeping our commitment to maintaining full-day kindergarten.

Our government’s priority is and always will be to invest in schools and classrooms, while teachers’ union leaders remain focused on increasing compensation and enhancing their already generous benefits packages.

The time for a deal is now. I urge the unions to stop this disruptive escalation and return to the table to get a deal that is fair for parents, students, and educators.”