Local Press Releases

Liberals’ failure on wage freeze hurting children’s education

December 18, 2012

KITCHENER — The Liberal government must put politics aside and take immediate steps to end the continued disruptions at Ontario schools, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“The future of our children should be our concern first and foremost, not politics. Clearly, the Liberals and the NDP are bowing to union pressure, all at the price of adversely impacting the education of Ontario children,” Harris said. “Instead of appeasing political allies, all MPPs should be working together to rein in runaway government spending and to ensure our children have a quality education and access to extracurricular activities.”

The PC Party tabled a bill at Queen’s Park earlier this year to tackle Ontario’s $15-billion deficit, which would have prevented the current disruptions experienced at schools across the province.

If passed, Bill 92, Comprehensive Public Sector Compensation Freeze Act, would have implemented an across-the-board wage freeze for two years for all public sector employees. Unfortunately, the Liberals voted against it and, instead, decided to single out teachers by tabling Bill 115.

“We knew the province couldn’t afford to award 5.5% wage increases to teachers, who are already making more than average Ontarians. Bill 115 wasn’t the solution we wanted, but when presented with half a loaf, we were inclined to take it,” Harris said. “We gave the Education Minister the tools she needed to save taxpayers millions of dollars and to keep young people in school, but she has refused to take action. This has to stop.

Laurel Broten has the power to stop these strikes. Her failure to do so isn’t fair to parents worried about child care or to our hard-working teachers who want to remain on the job. I urge the Minister to do the right thing and issue a directive today so there are no more disruptions at our schools.”