Extra-curricular activities returning to Ontario public high schools
Wynne 'glad' extra-curriculars back
Posted: Feb 22, 2013 3:47 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2013 7:45 PM ET
Extra-curricular activities are set to return to Ontario high schools — bringing to an end a months-long protest that has stopped a large portion of the province's high school students from participating on sports teams or school clubs.
A statement posted on the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers' Federation website late Friday afternoon said local leaders have agreed "to suspend political action regarding voluntary activities."
OSSTF president Ken Coran said in a prepared statement that he hoped "this sign of good will" will "prompt the government to have genuine discussions that can lead to a fair resolution to this current impasse.”
Teachers' unions across the province were outraged when the Liberal government of former premier Dalton McGuinty imposed a contract.
Some unions approved the new contract, but OSSTF members decided to drop all extra-curricular activities as a demonstration of their unhappiness
The recent election of Kathleen Wynne to replace McGuinty as Ontario premier appears to have improved relations between the OSSTF and the Liberals and paved the way for a settlement to the dispute.
Just minutes after the OSSTF released its decision, Wynne released a statement saying "I’m so glad that teachers, support staff and students will once again enjoy the extracurricular activities and programs that mean so much to them."
Later, at a news conference at Queen's park she said the government did not make any concessions to the union in order to bring an end to the protest, other than to work with the OSSTF to fix a broken relationship.
"The arrangements that have been reached do not add any money into the contracts or into the framework," she said.
She said her government has told the union leadership "we're willing to talk about some of the things that are bothering you, and one of those things is what's the collective bargaining process going to look like going forward."
Coran said that the decision on whether to resume those activities — things like coaching sports teams and supervising clubs — will be up to the teachers themselves. But with support from the local leadership it appears the re-introduction of extra-curricular activities is a foregone conclusion.
“We encourage members to review recent information and decide if they are willing to return to participating in the activities we know they feel so passionately about," Coran said.
Wynne's statement appeared aimed at bringing an end to the bitter protest which has affected hundreds of thousands of students in Ontario's high schools.
"Today's news is a great indication of the hard work all parties are putting into the repair of this valued relationship. It shows our willingness to work together, to listen to one another's concerns, and to find common ground on which we can rebuild a foundation of trust and create an effective process going forward.
"I've been clear that this issue needs to be addressed within Ontario's existing fiscal framework. But I am confident that our government's commitment to fairness, consistency and respect in our conversations with OSSTF and all our partners will continue to result in real work being done for the people of Ontario."
The union says it will have a news conference on Monday morning.
Wynne said she hoped the Elementary Teachers' Federation would decide to end its protest as well and resume extracurricular activities.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Concrete fell months before Elliot Lake mall collapse
- Testimony at the inquiry looking into the fatal roof collapse at the mall in Elliot Lake has raised questions about whether some at city hall put financial concerns ahead of safety. more »
- Boaters not getting message about life jackets: OPP
- Boaters are still not getting the message about life jackets says OPP Inspector Mark Andrews. more »
- Construction to start on Sudbury water sports centre
- Sudbury's canoe club is preparing for what it hopes will be the last summer in its current building, as construction is expected to begin on the multi-million-dollar Northern Water Sports Centre. more »
- Federal Court won't remove MPs over election robocalls
- The Federal Court didn't throw six MPs out of their seats over allegations of widespread vote suppression through automated robocalls in the 2011 federal election. But Judge Richard Mosley did find that fraud occurred, linked to the Conservative Party's database. more »
Top News Headlines
- Washington police blame bridge collapse on Alberta trucker
- Washington State police say an Alberta trucker was responsible for hitting a steel beam precipitating a bridge collapse on one of the busiest routes in the American northwest. more »
- Royal Bank pledges not to outsource jobs for cash savings
- Royal Bank has promised it will never outsource a Canadian job to a foreign worker solely to save money. more »
- Canada ranks 3rd last in paid vacations
- Group calls for probe of Tory database used in election robocalls
- The Council of Canadians is calling on the Conservative Party to make a list of everyone who had access to its electoral database during the last federal election and turn the information over to the RCMP and the commissioner of elections. "Anything less at this point would be a coverup," the council said in a press release Friday. more »