OECTA Responds to 2012 Ontario Provincial Budget
TORONTO, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) says the Ontario government has taken a very 'unbalanced' approach to its latest budget - ignoring valid opportunities for savings while implementing measures that disproportionately impact teachers.
"The government has stated it has taken a 'balanced' approach to this budget, which implies that there is some give and take to help achieve overarching goals," said Kevin O'Dwyer, OECTA President. "We have always said that we are willing to do our part in these tough economic times, but right now the government's main target in education is teachers."
In briefs submitted to the government and the Drummond Commission, OECTA encouraged the government to look at the increasing expenditures in school board administration lines, the size of government bureaucracy at the Ministry of Education (such as the Student Achievement Division) and the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) as areas where efficiencies could be realized, without impacting classroom learning. Despite the opportunity for savings, these areas were not mentioned in the budget.
"We are prepared to continue to engage in open and constructive dialogue with the government at the Provincial Discussion Table, in a manner that addresses both parties' concerns," says O'Dwyer. "However, continuing to deal with bargaining issues and threatening legislative action in the media is detrimental to the constructive dialogue that is needed at this time."
Despite these challenges, OECTA remains committed to discussions with the government, to continue to move the agenda forward in education, in a way that meets the needs of everyone involved.
OECTA represents the 43,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
For further information:
Director of Communication, OECTA
416-925-2493 xtn 509