Teacher protest leaves school clubs in limbo
Students at high schools across the province faced uncertainty Wednesday as most public school teachers took a one-day break from volunteering.
The teachers were protesting the passing of Bill 115 Tuesday, the Liberal government's legislation which freezes teacher wages, ends sick-day banking, and bans strikes for two years.
In Ottawa, students at Lisgar Collegiate and Cairine Wilson, particularly those in grade 12, expressed their frustration at being caught in the middle of a dispute between the province and the teachers.
At some schools, such as Merivale High School on Wednesday and Sir Robert Borden High School Thursday, students said were planning rallies not to protest one side or the other, but to demonstrate how much the programs matter to them.
Elementary school students may also see an impact, as the union representing elementary school teachers has recommended to its members that they take a break from extra-curricular activities and also stop attending staff meetings on what the union is calling McGuinty Mondays.
Teachers upset over legislation
Peter Giuliani, the president of the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teachers Federation, said the loss of bargaining power, the wage freeze and the other changes have teachers livid.
"I have honestly never seen teachers so upset in 30 years of working in education," said Giuliani.
Premier Dalton McGuinty said his government has hit a "rough patch" in its relationship with teachers, but said he can't accept any decision by teachers to stop supervising clubs and teams after class.
McGuinty said he's convinced teachers, "in their heart of hearts," understand that after class clubs are really important to students and their families.