Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Public High School Teachers Vote to End Political Protest

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Public High School Teachers Vote to End Political Protest

Article excerpt

Teachers' union votes to end protest

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TORONTO - Word late Friday that public high school teachers can resume after class sports and clubs was exactly the news newly-minted Ontario Premier Kathleen needed after a disastrous first week in the legislature dominated by a controversy over gas plants.

"I'm very happy that teachers and support staff and students across the province at public secondary schools will once again be able to enjoy the extracurricular activities and programs," a beaming Wynne told a supper-hour news conference.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation agreed to "suspend political action" _ code for its withdrawal of extracurricular activities _ which was sparked by the Liberals' move to impose contracts that froze the wages of most teachers.

The union didn't offer any guarantees that things would immediately return to normal at high schools.

"We still maintain that voluntary activities are just that: voluntary," OSSTF president Ken Coran said in a statement.

Wynne insisted the government did not make any concessions to convince the union to end its protest, other than agree to work with teachers and school boards on a new collective bargaining process for the next time to help fix a "fractured" relationship.

"The arrangements that have been reached do not add any money into the contracts or into the framework," she said.

"We have sat down with the (union) leadership and said we're willing to talk about some of the things that are bothering you, and one of those things is what's the collective bargaining process going to look like going forward."

Some teachers have said they won't resume supervising extracurricular activities because of the two-year contracts the government imposed, but Wynne predicted most would return to the sports and clubs they ran voluntarily for years. …

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