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  • News
  • July 05, 2012

McGuinty Government Putting Students First and Protecting Gains in Education

Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) have signed a

memorandum of understanding for a two-year agreement that will protect the classroom

experience for students as well as the gains made in education.

Working with our partners in education, Ontario is meeting its fiscal goal by saving the

province $250 million in 2012-13, growing to $540 million in the second year, when the

agreement is applied across the entire sector. In addition, the province would achieve

one-time savings of $1.4 billion. These savings will be found while continuing to support

student achievement and protect full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, and

dedicated teaching and support staff.

Over the past eight years, we have made significant progress in education by working

together. Today, Ontario students are ranked among the best in the world, have higher

test scores and more are graduating than ever before.

In recognition of these challenging economic times, the government and Ontario’s

Catholic teachers worked together to put students and families first. This agreement

enables Ontario to meet our fiscal goals while ensuring peace and stability in our

classrooms when school starts in September.

The agreement includes:

• Zero per cent salary increases in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

• All teachers will take a 1.5 per cent pay cut in the form of three unpaid

professional development days so that younger teachers will continue to be

recognized through the grid for their experience and additional qualifications.

• Agreement to restructure the grid with a view to long-term, sustainable savings.

• Elimination of the current retirement gratuity for payment of unused sick days that

was responsible for a $1.7-billion liability for school boards.

• A restructured short-term sick leave plan that would include up to 10 sick days.

• The sick leave plan would benefit younger teachers by providing income

protection for serious illness and improved maternity leave provisions.

• Agreement to address non-monetary issues including the development of a fair

and transparent hiring process for long-term occasional teachers.

This agreement will serve as a roadmap for local bargaining over the summer months

and all other teacher and staff unions, and the trustee associations are encouraged to

meet to discuss this understanding so that additional agreements can be reached.

The McGuinty government remains committed to working with all of its partners in

education to eliminate the deficit while continuing to protect the classroom experience.

QUOTES

"Government investment in education has been a top priority, helping to achieve

important gains such as full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and significant

academic achievement among students. By working with our partners, the agreement

reached with OECTA will protect these gains, helping to support a strong public

education system, while meeting important fiscal goals."

— Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham

"We have made a deliberate choice in this process — a choice to protect the gains we

have made in education and to work with our partners, as we’ve done for the past four

months. These were never going to be easy discussions, but I’m pleased that after

months of difficult talks, we were able to reach an agreement with OECTA. It’s an

example of how teachers can successfully enter into such discussions with government

that result in solutions that both protect student achievement and help us meet our fiscal

targets."

— Laurel Broten, Minister of Education

QUICK FACTS

• The 1.5 per cent pay cut will affect every teacher and 39 percent of teachers will

move through the grid, meaning a total of 61 per cent of OECTA teachers will see a

real cut in wages.

• The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) represents 45,000

professionals who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in

Ontario.

• Ontario's graduation rate is now 82 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2003-04. About

93,000 more students have graduated than would have if the rate remained at 68 per

cent.

• Sixty-nine per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students are mastering reading, writing and

math skills. This represents a 15 percentage point increase since 2003.

LEARN MORE

• Read the OECD report on "Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in

Education" that showcases Ontario.

• Read another international study by McKinsey & Co., "How the world's most

improved school systems keep getting better," which ranks Ontario's education

system as one of the best.

Keep in Mind...

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