Ontario Education Minister Blasts Teachers' Union Leaders
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 11:50AM EST
Ontario’s Education Minister is blasting teacher’s “union bosses” for ratcheting up the talk of a strike and not working towards new agreements.
Laurel Broten blamed the leaders of Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and the Elementary Teachers Federation at a news conference on Monday morning.
Refusal to negotiate was caused by “union leaders”, not “our teachers” Broten said.
The change in tone from the minister comes as high school teachers at the Ottawa Carleton board cancelled a planned vote on a new tentative agreement. They accused Broten of “interfering” with negotiating, and changing the tentative agreement. Broten’s office denies that.
The union representing elementary teachers is still threatening a province wide, one day strike to protest the government’s imposition of Bill 115. The law gives the government tools to quickly end any strike, it also imposes a wage freeze.
The minster says union leaders “turned their back on cooperation”, and they would rather strike than get a deal.
PC Leader Tim Hudak used similar language today, blasting union leaders for how they’ve handled the crisis.
"Don’t hold the kids hostage for a labour dispute", said Hudak.