Ontario has announced its intention to repeal Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, to be effective Jan. 23, 2013.
The legislation achieved its goal of ensuring fair, balanced and responsible collective agreements for teachers and support staff while protecting the gains made in education and reflecting the province's fiscal reality.
By moving to repeal the act, the government is promoting goodwill and stability in Ontario's schools by addressing a key concern of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers' Federation.
More than 100,000 teachers and support staff are benefiting from negotiated agreements that meet the government's fiscal goals while supporting student achievement. The remainder of collective agreements were put in place under the Putting Students First Act.
The McGuinty government is committed to protecting the gains Ontario has made in education while taking steps to eliminate the deficit. New collective agreements announced this year ensure the government can meet its fiscal goals while continuing to rollout full-day kindergarten, maintaining smaller class sizes and protecting 20,000 teaching and support staff jobs.
"The Putting Students First Act is a bipartisan solution to a province-wide issue - ensuring fair collective agreements for teachers and support staff while addressing Ontario’s deficit. The act accomplished that goal and is no longer needed. What is needed now is a return to stability in our schools and that includes extracurricular activities for Ontario’s students."
— Laurel Broten, Minister of Education
The Putting Students Act was passed on Sept. 11, 2012.
Local collective agreements put in place under the act are based on the terms of the negotiated agreement between the government and OECTA and other memoranda of understanding signed before Aug. 31, 2012.
The new contracts will save the province $250 million in 2012-13, growing to $540 million in 2013-14. This is in addition to one-time savings of $1.1 billion, primarily from the elimination of banked sick days.
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