Politics
Ontario Tories want law to protect teachers who skirt unions’ extracurricular ban

Ontario PC MPP Lisa MacLeod speaks at the Rideau Carleton Raceway where she announced details from the party's latest policy white paper-A New Deal for the Public Sector-that impact horseracing and casinos in the Ottawa area. December 14,2012

Credits: Errol McGihon/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency

ANTONELLA ARTUSO | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO ­­— An Ontario PC motion would prohibit unions from punishing teachers who ignore an extracurricular ban.

Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod said the motion would also require the provincial government to include co-curricular activities — such as extra student help and parent-teacher meetings — as a mandatory part of a teacher’s job.

“We believe it’s time for Ontario to clearly define a teacher’s job,” MacLeod said.

The PCs did not indicate they had obtained the additional support they would need from the Liberals or New Democrats to pass the motion.

Ontario public school teachers withdrew extracurricular activities in their battle with the provincial government over Bill 115 and imposed contracts.

Teachers can face union sanctions such as fines if they ignore a ban ordered by their federation.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, which represents public high school teachers, announced Friday it would lift its ban on the voluntary activities.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is currently reviewing its position.

MacLeod said her motion would prevent unions from slapping teachers with fines and other penalties for ignoring a ban on voluntary activities.

“For the past several months, Ontario students and parents have been used as pawns in this labour dispute between the Ontario teachers’ unions and the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals,” MacLeod said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has sought a new relationship with teachers, and made the return of extracurriculars a priority.

Wynne said she has not offered any fiscal incentive to teachers, but is prepared to improve the collective bargaining process.

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