We Must Protect Extra-Curriculars

February 26, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario PCs want to ensure extra-curricular activities do not become bargaining chips in future labour disputes and to protect committed and passionate teachers from being forced by their union to withdraw from activities.

 

MPP Jim McDonell wholeheartedly supports today’s Opposition Day Motion: “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. Reducing the ability of union bosses to dictate to their members and inflict this punishment on our children is a critical priority.”

 

The motion 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 McGuinty-Wynne Liberal government had previously removed.

 

MPP McDonell highlighted that successful education goes beyond the classroom: “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. It is time to give our students and their parents some certainty in our education system by legislating a teacher’s job description. During the latest disruption, all students suffered. Applications to prestigious universities and scholarships were jeopardized as extra-curricular activities are a significant component of a successful evaluation. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

 

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% of teachers will not return to extra-curricular activities. According to MPP McDonell, this is a sign that the Government continues to fail students, parents and teachers: “The Liberals are trying to regain the support of large unions, yet this will come at the expense of our children’s future prospects. Premier Wynne does not have the will to confront union bosses and stand up for parents and students.  It is time for them to step up and support our motion. As elected representatives, we, not union bosses, are the final arbiters of what is law in Ontario.”