The rollover would also result in the accumulation of two million more teacher sick days that could be cashed out at retirement, according to the news release. The only way school boards would be able to fund this increase would be to impact education in the classroom.
After five months of negotiations and with a month left before contracts are set to automatically "rollover," the province said it is calling on school board trustees to negotiate and sign local agreements before teacher and support staff contracts expire on Aug. 31, 2012.
Today, the province inked an agreement with the Association of Professional Student Services Personnel that meets the province's fiscal targets without compromising the classroom experience or student achievement, according to a news release.
It comes on the heels of a deal reached earlier with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA). The province expects school boards to use the OECTA deal as a road map in local negotiations in order to meet the province's fiscal parameters.
If school board trustees are unwilling or unable to negotiate and sign local agreements before Aug. 31 that prevent the rollover and comply with the province's fiscal parameters, as reflected in the OECTA deal, the government will introduce legislation to prevent it from happening.
"I have a responsibility to students, parents and the entire province to make sure school starts the day after Labour Day,” Laurel Brotten, Minister of Education, said in the news release. “School boards and unions must now do their part locally to get the job done. If they cannot or will not take action, we will."
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario have already indicated that strike votes will take place as early as late August, prior to the start of the school year.
The Memorandum of Understanding with OECTA will save the province $250 million in 2012-13 growing to $540 million in the second year of the agreement if applied across the sector, as well as a one-time savings of $1.4 billion, the ministry said in a news release.
Ontario's graduation rate is now 82 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2003-04. About 93,000 more students have graduated than would have if the rate remained at 68 per cent. Furthermore, 69 per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students are mastering reading, writing and math skills. This represents a 15 percentage point increase since 2003.
Posted by Arron Pickard