Thursday, March 28, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, March 28, 2013

Return of extracurriculars at Ontario schools

Negotiations between the Ontario government and the province’s public elementary school teachers over the implementation of contract terms and the creation of a new collective bargaining process led the teachers’ union to restore extracurricular activities.

The move is an important development in the relationship between the teachers’ union and Ontario’s new leadership, which began talking again after months of political protests and the withdrawal of extracurricular activities.

The two sides spent “dozens” of hours negotiating over several days during the last week, said Education Minister Liz Sandals.

“In effect, we’re having a conversation which in a normal bargaining process we would have had at the beginning of the process – where we work out the details on how things are going to be implemented,” she said. “We have reached a point in the conversation where there’s enough confidence on everyone’s part that we’re restoring the relationship.”
The province is still in talks with both elementary teachers and their secondary school counterparts, who returned to extracurriculars last month.

“It’s not about money, there is no new money. [It’s about] implementation details, about what the collective bargaining process is going to look like going forward,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said.

She would not say what exact details were the subject of the talks, as the sides are still negotiating over them. (Source: Globe & Mail)