TORONTO – Public elementary teachers will end strikes and not step up their protests against Bill 115 if the Ontario government agrees not to impose contracts on them and school boards.
But Sam Hammond, president of the teachers’ union, says protests will increase if the government does impose contracts.
Education Minister Laurel Broten has not said if she would move to impose deals on Jan. 1, just that she has the option to do it.
The teachers staged a series of one-day rotating strikes across the province over the last two weeks.
Hammond calls the legislation dangerous and says it infringes on their right to collective bargaining.
He says Premier Dalton McGuinty is wrong to say the fight is all about pay, adding the union is willing to accept a two-year wage freeze.
Hammond’s news conference opened with a moment of silence for the 26 people killed last Friday at Sandy Hook elementary school in Conn.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents workers and support staff in both the public and Catholic school boards, says its members are also planning political protests if new contracts are imposed after the Dec. 31 cutoff for bargaining.