Report on keeping students out of contract disputes shelved 11 years ago
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:10PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 18, 2012 6:29PM EST
While all sides in the dispute between teachers and the provincial government say they want students to be kept out it, a report on how to accomplish just that has been collecting dust for over a decade.
In 2001, then-premier Mike Harris appointed a commission to look into the matter.
It came up with 16 recommendations, including suggestions for the province to define the responsibilities of teachers, keep extracurricular activities voluntary, hire lunchroom supervisors, and deter union pressure on teachers who volunteer during contract disputes.
The report called for the province, teachers associations and school board to sit down and resolve the matter once and for all.
But the government shelved the report without acting on it, and it hasn’t seen the light of day since.
Fast-forward to 2012. Teachers are once again involved in job action, and students are again feeling marginalized due to losing days in the classroom and some extracurricular activities.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation has even threatened to have its teachers pull out of extracurriculars entirely for two years if a contract is forced on them by the province.
Once again, familiar calls are ringing out from all sides. Teachers, parents, students and the province are all saying they want to minimize the disruption to students caused by the contract dispute.
“Deal with the provincial government, deal with your employer, deal with the people that are paying you,” says Waterloo resident Richard Hobson.
“But don’t make students suffer.”