Local Press Releases

PC Party launches policy to safeguard extracurricular activities

January 23, 2013

KITCHENER Providing quality education to Ontario students starts with securing the before and after-school activities they rely on to develop new skills and friendships, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“Teachers’ unions should no longer have the ability to use after-school sports and clubs as bargaining chips in their fight with the government,” Harris said. “To safeguard these essential activities, we would introduce measures to prohibit unions from dictating what teachers do during their spare time.”

Harris made these comments at Huron Heights Secondary School where he was joined by PC Education Critic and Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod to discuss the PC plan on extracurricular activities in the lead up to tomorrow’s launch of the next Paths to Prosperity white paper focused on the K-12 education system.

Earlier this week, MacLeod announced that the PC party would enact a new law barring teachers’ unions from forcing their members to deprive students of extracurricular activities, while giving school boards and principals the flexibility to reward teachers for before-and-after school involvement through less supervisory time and relief from other duties.

“We would also break down barriers to parental and community involvement in delivering these programs, if teachers can’t or won’t provide them,” MacLeod said.

The Liberals’ mishandling of wage restraint continues to threaten the educational experience for students across the province, as public teachers’ unions remain committed to withholding voluntary activities by as much as two years.

“Obviously, we need more clarity on what’s included in a teacher’s role,” Harris said.  “Unfortunately, the Liberals removed any mention of these activities in the Education Act – effectively making them bargaining chips in contract negotiations.”

MacLeod said the PC Party would stand with parents, front-line teachers and principals who believe core teaching responsibilities such as marking papers, preparing report cards, parent-teacher interviews and work with students who need extra help should be part of the definition of a teacher’s job in the Education Act.