Ford government to put an end to seniority-based hiring for teachers
Seniority-based hiring will soon be a thing of the past for Ontario teachers. New teachers will be able to apply for full-time positions without having to do years of substitute teaching, as a new proposal for Education Minister Lisa Thompson is in the works
As reported by the Star, according to Thompson, the current rules are “outdated,” and said consultations are currently ongoing. The changes are coming due to Regulation 274, which requires principals to hire from “among the most senior supply teachers for long-term and permanent jobs.”
“The previous government, sadly, instituted outdated hiring practices that rewarded teachers based on seniority and did not recognize teachers who were excelling at their jobs,” Thompson said Tuesday in the legislature.
“That needs to change, and we’re going to get that job done … We need to ensure that we have the right teacher in the right classroom. Our proposal to allow new teachers direct access to apply to permanent positions in any school board is a step towards accomplishing just that.”
Premier Ford has also said that his government will be including more in the budget for education within the 2019-2020 school year compared to the current expenditure.
“We’re going to drive efficiencies,” he said at an event in Burlington. “I’ll tell you this—we’re putting more money into education than the previous government.
“Not by a little, by a lot. We’re putting a tremendous amount more into health care which is so important.”
The idea is not a new
Just a few years later, and changes are now in the works.
When Thompson was asked for more details, she stated “we’re investing in teachers who want to increase and improve their qualifications when it comes to math. So any teacher who wants to take the additional qualification course in math, certainly we’re going to invest in them because we know that our students need the best teachers and we want to ensure that our teachers who want to take a step forward are supported by our ministry and that’s a good example.”
The Ontario government currently spends about $29 billion annually on education.
Regulation 274 was put into place by the previous Ontario Liberal government in 2012 after complaints poured in about nepotism in hiring, especially in smaller Catholic school boards. Thompson claims the revamp “isn’t about an outdated regulation; this is about doing the right thing for our students, and the right move for our teachers.”
With the plan to boost secondary school classes from an average of 22 to 28 students also in the words, a number of changes to Ontario schools will surely result in some growing pains, though all changes are being
What do you think of the upcoming changes to Ontario schools? Let us know in the comments below.
If Ontario’s government accepts all proposals tabled by High School teachers’ union, the province would have to spend more than $7 billion by 2021-2022, according to the Ford government.
“The reason why we publicize this, we believe, is it’s in taxpayers’ interests to know,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said.
In response, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation(OSSTF) president Harvey Bischof has said the Ford government is inflating numbers by applying his members’ demands to the entire sector.
Currently, the Ford government has said its $7 billion projection is based on union demands such as cost-of-living adjustments to salaries and benefits, maintaining previous class sizes, as well as other costs.
The government has said it had to apply costs to the entire sector as benefits given to one education union would more than likely be given to others. For example, CUPE which has already signed a deal has a “me-too” clause around salaries, which allows the union to ask for increases if others in the industry get them.
While unions continue to ask for data to be presented on a case by case basis, the Ford government appears to dead-on putting forward industry level costs, with both hoping to increase the importance of their argument.
With negotiations ongoing, we’ll have to wait and see how the public alongside those involved react to the ongoing negotiations over teachers’ contracts, including both high school and elementary teachers.
Elementary teachers in Ontario’s English public schools have notably ramped up their own job action on Tuesday, by moving into a new phase of work-to-rule, were teachers would not plan field trips or distribute letters and memos.
Ontario New Democrat MPP Joel Harden has issued an apology this week for posing with a supporter who was holding a large sign that read, “F*CK DOUG FORD.”
The image was discovered on Reddit over the weekend and Harden appears smiling beside sign baring the obscenity.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath condemned the action calling it “absolutely not acceptable,” while adding that Harden offered an apology to the premier. His apology came Monday during Question Period.
Premier Ford accepted Harden’s apology.
“I’m glad that he apologized to the premier. It’s never appropriate to have that scenario unfold and I’m glad that the premier accepted the apology,” Horwath told CTV News on Tuesday.
“We believe in raising the decorum of our political discourse. It’s clear based on their past and current behaviour that the NDP caucus do not share this goal,” spokesperson Ivana Yelich said in a statement.
Horwath herself can relate as she was caught posing with a protester outside Queen’s Park who was holding a sign that read “#F*** Ford,” earlier this year.
“I didn’t read the fine print on the bottom of that sign and I have apologized personally to Mr. Ford,” Horvath said.
Harden is taking that position as well saying he didn’t realize what the sign said and as soon as he saw it, he realized that it was a problem.
Horwath has encouraged her New Democrat MPPs to read signs being held by protesters before taking pictures.
“We’ve asked our MPPs on a couple of occasions to be very careful about that because this is exactly the outcome that can occur and it looks bad on everybody, it’s just not appropriate,” Horwath said.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has spent $352,975 on Facebook ads since June, $49,457 of which was spent in the last seven days as they battle out negotiations with the Ontario government.
The pre-bargaining of the new contract between the OSSTF and Premier Doug Ford’s government started in May, but the two sides haven’t been able to see eye to eye on prospective contract changes in the past seven months.
On top of the $352,975 spent on Facebook ads, the OSSTF also purchased a large TV ad buy in late August attacking the Ford government’s proposed education changes, which are meant to find savings in order to help tackle the large annual provincial deficit. Ontario’s debt has ballooned to well over $300 billion and is projected to reach $325.9 billion by the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year.
The Ontario high school teachers’ union also spent money on a postcard mailing campaign back in May, targeting Ontario Progressive Conservative MPPs who only narrowly won their ridings.
Due to backlash from unions, media and the public, Premier Ford has repeatedly backed off of finding so-called “efficiencies” he claimed he would find once in power during the 2018 election. Most of the time the Ford government has tried to make cuts it has backed off; it’s to the point now that his government is increasing annual overspending instead of getting the budget under control.
“This is a government that was elected on a strong mandate for fiscal responsibility, and they’ve brought spending to a higher level than Kathleen Wynne,” Ontario communications director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Jasmine Pickel told Maclean’s this month.
On Monday, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof responded to the Ontario Debt Clock Twitter account asking where he thought the money for the raises to teachers would come from by saying, “Here’s a start. $3B in foregone revenue for cancelled cap and trade.”
Education Minister Stephen Lecce so far isn’t caving to the demands of the teachers’ union, which went on one-day strike last week and is threatening to do the same this week, too.
“Most problematic is that they opted to strike last Wednesday irrespective considering that option. And then on Friday say, ‘Well we’ll consider private mediations so long as the government gives us all three of our top demands, which one of which includes to make the case… the [raise] for the second highest paid teachers in the country,” Lecce said on Monday in a press conference.
The OSSTF didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“His suggestion that the government should fund bigger raises by making life more expensive and unaffordable for the average Ontarian is more than just out of touch, it’s callous and shameful,” said Pickel to The Post Millennial. “Ontario teachers are amongst the best paid in the country and in the world. When you add in the value of taxpayer-funded pension contributions and benefits to salary, top earning teachers in Ontario bring home more than $120,000 per year. Meanwhile, Ontario is the largest subnational debtor on the planet. Ontarians can’t afford to pay more in taxes or to go further into debt to fund bigger raises for already well compensated teachers.”
A carbon tax causes the cost of living to go up almost across the board, including food, which is already expected to go up by four percent in Canada in 2020.
Despite Lecce already lowering the number of proposed high school online courses from four to two and reducing the proposed increase to class sizes from 28 to 25 (they’re currently at 21), the OSSTF still hasn’t budged, looking for it’s top three demands to be met.
The average Ontario high school teacher makes $92,000 a year currently, $37,000 more than the average Ontarian makes. The OSSTF wants them to get a two percent raise, which would cost taxpayers an estimated $1.5 billion annually.
Lecce’s and Ford’s offices also did not respond to request for comment.
The repercussions for trespassing on farmers’ land increased greatly following new legislation by the Ford government.
Following new legislation introduced on Monday, Ontario would create “animal protection zones” where fines would be far higher for acts such as trespassing.
According to Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman, the Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act would not just hike fines for trespassing on farms, it would also make it illegal to obstruct trucks carrying livestock.
The move to provide stronger consequences was put forward after the province’s livestock producers pressed the government, voicing their dissatisfaction.
“Ontario farmers and agriculture workers deserve to be able to carry out the important work they do without fear for their safety,” Hardeman said.
“These are the people who produce the food we eat every day, and I’ve reflected on their experiences and concerns when drafting this proposed bill.”
Under the new legislation, fines for trespassing would be set at a maximum of $15,000 for a first offence.
Subsequent offences can reach to $25,000. The bill furthermore would increase protection for farmers when it comes to civil liability for those hurt trespassing on their property, while also allowing courts to order restitution when damage is caused as a result of an offence.