Hamilton teacher Dan Staples would normally be spending this week setting up classrooms at Orchard Park Secondary School. 

Instead, Staples is heading to Queen's Park Tuesday to protest a controversial bill that would freeze wages, cut benefits and bargaining rights.

"The way the government is treating us is ruthless," he said. "It's bullying."

Seven buses took 400 Hamilton teachers and support staff to Toronto for the noon-hour rally, said Chantal Mancini, chair of the local Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation local 21 teachers bargaining unit.

"They are trampling on our collective bargaining rights and creating an unnecessary crisis that is about politics, not about students," she said.

If passed, the bill will freeze compensation and give the government the right to ban strikes and lockouts for two years.

Staples is surprised legislation has been introduced.

He sits on the local bargaining team and said negotiations with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board are going" very well."

"[Legislation] is usually called when negotiations break down," he said. "That's not the case here."

Mancini said Tuesday's rally should send a strong message to Premier Dalton McGuinty and education minister Laurel Broten that secondary teachers are not happy.

"We will fight back," she said.

The union is prepared to file a court challenge and see it right to the Supreme Court if necessary, said Mancini.

"If they do this, Ontario will be wondering who is next," Mancini said.

But Broten told CBC News Network: "We need to take a pause when it comes to teacher pay increases. If this legislation is challenged [in court], we will defend it."

The bill is likely to become law as the Progressive Conservatives have agreed to support it.