Government's repeal of Bill 115 meaningless for public education

Establishing respectful relations with educators the only successful way forward

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The government's intent to repeal Bill 115, used to take away the democratic rights of educators, is a meaningless gesture and shallow response to the chaos it has created in schools, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"The premier and education minister are deluding themselves if they think the repeal of Bill 115 will promote goodwill and stability in the education sector and restore their popularity," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "They used the bill and are now trying to make it disappear in the most crass of political acts. It's a sleight of hand that ETFO members and most Ontarians will see through."

"It's time to focus on real solutions. We are hoping the next premier and education minister will engage in fair and respectful discussions to help find solutions to the problems and chaos that has been created by this bill," added Hammond.

"The government has not achieved fair and balanced collective agreements. It dictated terms and conditions of employment and, by its own admission, took over $1.6 billion out of teacher collective agreements which to that point had been fairly negotiated. Of 450 agreements, only 65 were negotiated; the remainder were imposed."

When the education minister promised to repeal the bill as she invoked its powers on January 3rd, ETFO called the move a 'cynical misuse of government power'.

"The education minister will never erase the stain of Bill 115 on the democratic rights of Ontarians.  Nor will the bill's repeal cause those judges who hear our Charter challenge to look on this government benevolently because Bill 115 is no longer on the books."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations, 416-948-0195