Midnight deadline looms for teachers to reach deals, education minister warns
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 10:41AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 6:41PM EST
TORONTO - The deadline for Ontario's teachers to reach agreements with their local school boards is tonight at one minute before midnight.
Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten is urging those school boards and teachers who haven't yet reached deals to do so before tonight's deadline.
She says 65 ratified local agreements have been submitted so far and she's hoping others will follow.
Broten has not said if she would move to impose deals on Jan. 1 -- only that she has the option to do it under Bill 115.
The legislation -- which freezes the pay of most teachers, reduces their ability to bank sick days and limits their right to strike -- has drawn protests from teacher's unions in the province.
The union representing public elementary teachers held a series of rotating one-day strikes earlier this month as part of its fight against the controversial legislation and has warned of more protests.
On Sunday, Broten announced a tentative deal with the Canadian Union of Public Employees which represents about 55,000 workers, including educational assistants, early childhood educators, instructors, custodians, librarians and secretaries.
CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn says the union remains opposed to Bill 115 and will continue its campaign to repeal it, which includes a legal challenge.