TDSB and Province Pointing Fingers Over Skilled Trades' Contracts

An apparent curve-ball in the dispute between the McGuinty Government and education workers in Ontario

An apparent curve-ball in the dispute between the McGuinty Government and education workers in Ontario.

Queen's Park has imposed wage-freeze contracts on most public school boards and their teacher unions under the Putting Students First Act. As part of this, the Education Minister also extended the contract between the Toronto District School Board and the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council.

It was skilled trades council that was costing taxpayers millions of dollars because of overcharging. That includes the bill for $143 to put in a pencil sharpener.

The chair of the school board, Chris Bolton has sent a letter to Education Minister Laurel Broten essentially saying her interference in this matter has left the board in an untenable situation as it struggles with its capital and operating budgets.

Monday evening, the minister fired back basically saying the board had plenty of time to negotiate an agreement, (that being from last August until the end of December) and insisting the imposed deal "has no bearing on the board's ability to control spending or to work with the union to manage the cost of maintenance and repairs."

Broten then added this line, "Under the Putting Students First Act, local agreements can be reopened by mutual consent of the parties to address local issues."

No more clarity was provided but it raises questions about whether all the imposed teacher contracts could be reopened if the union locals and their school boards agreed to do so.

(with files by D. Agar)

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  1. Ken posted on 01/08/2013 08:56 AM
    The obvious solution is to hire a First Nations person and put one person in every school. Their "job" (yes, it is a real responsible job) will be a combination of security and repairs. This will solve four problems within society; 1) improved school security; 2) repairs get done significantly cheaper than the M&CSTC; 3) Keeps the First Nations off the roads and railways; and 4) some visual and transparent value for the $11 billion simply handed over to first Nations without accountability. Not willing to work in a school? Then no free money! This involves co-operation and co-ordination of all three levels of government. That might be the impossible part and run the obvious logic.
  2. DARING posted on 01/08/2013 09:40 PM
    Don't blame the lowly tradesmen for managements lack of accountability if managers and supervisors new what they were doing they would have enough maintenance,repairs and installation jobs lined up so when the worker has completed a task there would be another job ready for him. This sort of stuff has been going on decades.
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