Ontario passes bill to freeze teachers’ wages and ban strikes

ETFO asks members to opt out of extracurriculars in protest
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/11/2012

MPPs have passed a controversial bill that Ontario teachers and education workers have strongly opposed as it forces a new contract on them and prevents them from striking for two years.

The governing Liberal Party joined forces with the Progressive Conservatives in the legislature in order to get Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, past third reading on Tuesday with a vote of 82-15.

Teachers’ unions have long opposed the bill and protested it last month during a rally on the front lawn of Queen’s Park. Union leaders and civil libertarians have called the legislation undemocratic and infringing on their collective bargaining rights. Two of the biggest unions representing elementary and high school teachers have vowed to fight the legislation all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In response to the new bill, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has requested that its 76,000 members refrain from participating in voluntary activities and extracurriculars.

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