This breaking announcement was just made following yesterday’s announcement by the Elementary Teachers union that it was stopping extra curricular activites as of next Wenesday as labour disputes continue.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has now stepped in to the disputes affecting kids in schools and after a meeting at Queen’s Park with union leaders this morning, the Premier said if a deal is not reached by November 1st, permission has been given to school boards to dock pay of teachers.

However, the penalty wouldn’t be immediate, the unions would be given 5 days notice.

Premier Wynne and Education Minister Liz Sandals met with representatives of the elementary teachers federation, plus officials of the OSSTF and CUPE which represent support workers who have been on work-to-rule campaigns.

The elementary teachers union is ready to launch the next phase of its job action.  It has ordered teachers to not participate in extra-curricular activities beginning next Wednesday. 

Meantime, Sandals says no receipts or invoices were provided to the the government as it decided to pay teachers’ unions 2.5 million dollars for extra costs incurred during bargaining. 

The government agreed to pay the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association one million dollars each, as well as 500 thousand dollars to the French teachers’ union to compensate them for an extra long process under the Liberal government’s new bargaining system.

Sandals says she doesn’t need to see every bill when doing a cost estimate.

“You’re asking me if I have receipts and invoices. But What I do have knowledge of is the cost of renting rooms, the cost of travel,” she said. “We know how long we’ve been at the hotel, we know what hotel rooms cost, we know what the meeting rooms cost, we know what the food costs, we know what 100 pizzas cost…You don’t need to see every bill when you’re doing an estimate of cost.”

Sandals says the circumstances will not reoccur because in the next round of bargaining the parties won’t have to start from scratch, hammering out each and every clause.

What do you think?  Has Wynne made the right move?

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