Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Teachers gathered in large numbers in front of the Minister of Education offices in Toronto, Jan. 15, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The withdrawal of extracurriculars in elementary schools does not impact student engagement or achievement, according to the lawyer representing an elementary teacher's union.

"We categorically reject this," Howard Goldblatt told the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Wednesday. "It is a very serious allegation … to suggest somehow students' safety, student engagement and achievement have been impacted in either of these districts' schools."

Mr. Goldblatt was responding to arguments made by a lawyer for two school districts – Trillium Lakelands and Upper Canada – that the union was using voluntary activities as a political tool and compromising student safety and learning by withdrawing them.

Story continues below advertisement

The two school boards are arguing before the labour board that the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has issued directives to teachers that constitute an illegal strike.

"This is a crass violation of the law for political purposes," said Michael Hines, a lawyer for the school districts.

Teachers are no longer in a legal strike position after the government imposed contracts on them earlier this month.

Mr. Goldblatt argued that there is nothing prohibiting teachers from withdrawing these activities, even in a concerted effort, because its falls outside the definition of a strike in the Education Act. The withdrawal of teacher participation in sports, arts and cultural activities in schools was removed from the definition of strike in the Act in 2009, when new premier Kathleen Wynne was education minister, Mr. Goldblatt said.

The court case comes as both elementary and high-school teachers have withdrawn their participation in sports teams and clubs in protest of Bill 115, legislation which imposed the terms of their contracts.

Ms. Wynne has made resolving the dispute a top priority. She met with union leaders Tuesday evening, and more meetings are expected in the coming days.

Lawyers for ETFO have argued that because Bill 115 has been repealed, teachers don't have collective agreements in place and are in a legal strike position.

Story continues below advertisement

Arguments will continue Thursday, and a decision is expected soon. Teachers and school boards across the province are watching the case closely, as it may have an impact on ongoing teacher protests.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
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.

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:

  • 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.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies