Local MPP Jim McDonell, not surprisingly, is lining up with his fellow Tories in supporting a move that allows teachers greater freedom in deciding wether or not to supervise extra-curricular activities.
The Ontario PCs said Tuesday they want to ensure extra-curricular activities do not become bargaining chips in future labour disputes and to protect teachers from being forced by their union to withdraw from activities.
“For the past seven months, Ontario students and parents have been used as pawns in the labour dispute between Ontario teachers’ unions and the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals," said McDonell. "Reducing the ability of union bosses to dictate to their members and inflict this punishment on our children is a critical priority.”
The Tory plan urges the government to implement protections for teachers against being told by union leaders how they may spend their personal time – both inside and outside of the school day – by recommending that sanctions be placed on those who engage in these practices.
If passed, the motion also recommends that the government amend the Education Act to include certain co-instructional activities that the Liberals previously removed.
“Co-instructional activities – like timely and fully completed report cards, meeting with parents outside classroom hours, marking assignments and helping students with extra work after school – should not be optional," said McDonell. "It is time to give our students and their parents some certainty in our education system by legislating a teacher’s job description."
Despite the recent announcement from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) to suspend their political protest, OSSTF President Ken Coran admitted that approximately 20 per cent of teachers will not return to extra-curricular activities.