Ontario teachers face midnight deadline
Posted: Dec 31, 2012 7:50 AM ET
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2012 11:48 AM ET
The deadline for Ontario teachers to reach agreements with their local school boards is set to arrive at one minute before midnight on Monday.
Laurel Broten, Ontario's education minister, is urging those boards and teachers that haven't yet reached deals to do so before Monday’s deadline.
She says 65 ratified local agreements have been submitted so far and she's hoping others will follow.
Broten has not said whether she will move to impose contracts on Jan. 1 — only that she has the option to do it under Bill 115.
CBC’s Jermaine Hylton reported Monday that there’s uncertainty about what will happen when students return after the Christmas break. After contracts are imposed, any strike action would be illegal.
“What will happen in the New Year isn't as clear,” said Hylton. “While teachers aren't allowed to strike after Jan. 1, the public elementary and high school unions are warning they'll stage political protests of Bill 115 in the New Year.”
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 teachers’ 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.
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