Liberal rush to rule out free collective bargaining doesn't add up

The Ontario Liberal government has largely justified its rush to prevent free collective bargaining in the education sector by claiming that without such legislation junior teachers will get their normal increment steps on the wage grid as they accrue more experience as teachers.  To wit, they argue:

"Current teacher and support staff agreements expire on Aug. 31, 2012. If these are not replaced by September 1, the terms of existing contracts will automatically roll over. If this were to happen, the cost for teachers moving up the grid and for continuing the existing retirement gratuity and sick leave provisions would be $473 million."

This is curious as the government actually agreed to allow the increment increases in its memorandum of understanding with the catholic teachers association - albeit on the 97th day of the school year.

The trade-off loss of three days professional development pay does not occur until well into 2013 and 2014: October 11, 2013, December 20, 2013, and March 7, 2014.

That's a long way away.  In other words the government won't get that cost saving for a long time yet.

So what's the rush?

Is it just to get the sick leave concession?  That's unlikely, as, absent the establishment by school boards of a third party adjudication process, teachers will still get paid at 90% for absences over 10 days.  (Local agreements haven't even been agreed to, never mind the establishment of this other 3rd party process.)

By-election politics sounds like a more credible answer for all the haste.


  1. no kidding - this govt lies badly and is "praying" the public is stupid

  2. does 97 school days put us into the next fiscal year??? looks better on their by-election budget lines

  3. The provine's fiscal year begins April 1, long after the 97th day. So I don't know what the advantage is for the government, other than a modest delay .

  4. The Fiscal-Year-End is an oddity. The provincial government's FYE is March 31st (as Doug Allan has posted).

    I believe that Municipalities are based on the calendar year, although I'm not sure if each municipality can set its own FYE.

    The relevance of municipalities is that the local school boards are the direct employer of teachers, not the province.

    Based on day 1 being September 4th, 97 days into the school year would land on December 10th. Which is an odd day, since school winter breaks can't possibly start that early.

    There might be some sort of accounting advantage to picking day 97, but it's likely a compromise date between the unions and the province/boards.

  5. Interesting. I have heard that the 97th day is half way through the school year, so it may be a compromise as you suggest.