PCs want to consider mandatory extracurriculars for teachers
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:32PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:39PM EST
The provincial Progressive Conservatives say they have a plan to put extracurricular activities back on the menu at public elementary and secondary schools.
Speaking at Huron Heights Secondary School in south Kitchener, PC education critic Lisa MacLeod put the blame on teachers’ unions for forcing their members to give up the voluntary activities.
MacLeod said the PCs would create a new law to confront the issue on two fronts.
“One, realistically define the definition of what a teacher does, and two, bring in legislation to prohibit unions from intimidating teachers who do want to volunteer using their own time,” she said.
Teachers in Waterloo Region have been boycotting extracurricular activities since early
December. They say its their last avenue of protest after new contracts were imposed by the province under Bill 115, making any strike action illegal.
If stopping unions from forcing teachers to boycott activities doesn’t get all activities back in action, MacLeod said, the province should make extracurriculars part of teachers’ job descriptions, ensuring they couldn’t be legally disrupted.
Meanwhile, at Queen’s Park, the Liberal government officially repealed Bill 115. Education minister Laurel Broten said it’s up to unions to loosen the restrictions placed on teachers.
“It is their responsibility now, for the union to make up their own mind and not tell them they’re not able,” she said.
But unions say they haven’t bullied teachers, and they consider repealing Bill 115 a small step in the right direction.
“What our members are saying right now is ‘Give us a chance to get back to the way things used to be and we will reconsider some of the decisions we are currently involved with,” said OSSTF president Ken Coran.