Blame for ongoing school chaos lies with premier

Jan. 11, 2013

SIMCOE – Both parents and teachers frustrated with a last-second decision on whether there would be school today should direct their frustrations at the premier’s office, said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board released a decision in the wee hours this morning stating the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario strike action planned for today would be deemed an illegal strike. Moments later, federation president Sam Hammond announced the strike would not proceed.

“My office has been receiving many calls from justifiably-frustrated parents,” Barrett said.

The situation left parents in a dicey situation. Unsure if there would be school today, many parents had made plans to take a day off, arrange for daycare or other alternate arrangements with family or friends. Parents used vacation time or paid out of pocket for daycare that was unused at the last minute.

“This strike, and the last one, were illegal, but the blame for parents and teachers unsure if there would be school the next day lays squarely at the feet of Premier Dalton McGuinty,” Barrett said. “If Mr. McGuinty had acted sooner, the early-morning confusion would have been prevented.”

Barrett maintains the strike could have been avoided if the Liberal government acted on previous strikes and threats by union leaders last fall, as the Opposition demanded.
The next question is what will happen with illegal strike action planned next week by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.
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For more information contact
MPP Toby Barrett
1-800-903-8629 or 519-428-0446