Skip to main content

People walk the picket line in front of Lorne Park Secondary School Ontario on May 4, 2015.

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

What's holding up the Ontario teacher talks?

Union leaders for secondary and elementary school teachers have repeatedly pointed to a few sticking points at contract negotiations over the past few weeks. Here are some demands they say the province has made that their members aren't ready to accept:

ETFO

Story continues below advertisement

  • Managing teachers’ preparation time: Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, has said managers want to “micromanage” teachers’ non-classroom work hours, which is time dedicated to preparing lessons and other work supporting teaching time, rather than leaving it self-directed.
  • Controlling student testing: Rather than letting teachers decide what kind of diagnostic testing their pupils need, school administration would help make those decisions under the contract offer, Mr. Hammond said. “Their professional judgment should be respected on that,” he said. The head of the Ontario Public School Boards Association, Michael Barrett, said principals used to be part of that process and should now be again.
  • Supervising students out of the classroom: This proposal would affect occasional teachers in particular, as it would ask them to spend more time watching students at recess and lunch than they do now, Mr. Hammond said. But, in those non-classroom hours, the teachers fear that the new rules could be overly broad, requiring them “to do whatever’s required by an administrator.”

OSSTF

  • Increasing class sizes: Right now, Ontario schools are strictly required to maintain a certain average class size in each program. The province and Ontario Public School Boards Association want to eliminate those class size “caps” to give them more flexibility, according to the boards association. Teachers are balking at the idea of bigger classes – and the idea that there would be no upper limit at all, said Paul Elliott, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.
  • Spending more time supervising students: Teachers have been asked to increase the hours they spend supervising students in hallways and over lunch, in some cases more than doubling the time. The board association says this would help boards cut down on hiring extra staff.
  • Managing teacher time: Teachers believe that the province wants to impose new controls on their non-classroom time, though they are not sure exactly what the effect would be. They see this as their “self-directed time” and something better left to their professional judgment, Mr. Elliott said.
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter