TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - "The Minister is creating a crisis in education that simply does not exist," said Ken Coran, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) in response to the Minister of Education Laurel Broten's press conference this morning.
"She continues to create a panic in this province, implying that teachers and education workers will not be in schools at the beginning of September, and this is completely false. At the beginning of the school year, our members will be in their classrooms doing what they do best, working with the students of Ontario. Why the McGuinty government would threaten back-to-work legislation against our members is simply mystifying," he emphasized.
"We all know that our contracts expire at the end of August. However, in the past, all parties have been successful at finding negotiated solutions."
Coran continued, "This morning, the Minister also misled new teachers and education workers in Ontario by suggesting soon-to-be implemented new hiring practices will lead to more job opportunities in our school boards. The reality is that those jobs are driven by the number of students in our schools."
"Although Minister Broten says that their offer is beneficial to all parties, only one school board in the province has agreed to it."
"The strong imposition of the government's framework upon school boards runs contrary to the democratic nature of these local institutions. The Minister needs to allow school boards and education unions to find local solutions that benefit students and that recognize the current economic reality," concluded Coran.
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.