Liberals being criticized over maintenance contract
A TDSB official is questioning the education minister's decision to renew a contract with a maintenance workers' union. This is the same union that billed the school board $143 to install a pencil sharpener.
Chris Bolton, chair of the TDSB, is accusing minister Laurel Broten of playing politics.
The Toronto Star reports that the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council has been a big donor to the Liberal Party, campaigning for the party and donating more than $600,000 since 2005.
Broten, meanwhile, says that she renewed the contract because the union and the TDSB failed to reach a collective agreement by December 31st, the same deadline that teachers had.
The TDSB has been struggling with keeping its maintenance costs down. The board has wanted to make changes to its contract with the trades union. The province sent in consultants last fall to help with that process and now Bolton is asking what the point of that was.
Meanwhile, CTV is reporting that elementary school teachers are being urged by their union to continue withdrawing from extracurricular activities.
Union head Sam Hammond tells teachers in a newsletter to push the pause button on voluntary activities after the province imposed two-year contracts.