Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Did the McGuinty Government quietly restore teacher's union right to strike?

I'm asking a serious question, because I can't make out what exactly they've done here in a small sub-section of the recently passed Bill 212, the "Good Government Act, 2009". Any guidance by any of you legal-beagles would be appreciated.

Anyway, I was looking over the text of Bill 212, in the context of the changes related to the Municipal Elections Act. Anyway, while looking over the text, I found this section that intrigued me... and I'm not entirely sure of what it means, or of what potential consequences there are for parents here in Ontario.
Bill 212 - Good Government Act, 2009


Repeals and Revocation
5. (1) The following are repealed:

1. Back to School Act, 1998 .

2. Back to School Act (Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board), 2000 .

3. Back to School Act (Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board), 2002 .

4. Back to School Act (Toronto and Windsor), 2001 .

5. Back to School (Toronto Catholic Elementary) and Education and Provincial Schools Negotiations Amendment Act, 2003 .

6. City of Toronto Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2002 .

7. Sections 3, 7, 8 and 9 of the Fairness for Parents and Employees Act (Teachers' Withdrawal of Services), 1997 .

5. (2) Ontario Regulation 13/98 (Application Deadline), made under the Fairness for Parents and Employees Act (Teachers' Withdrawal of Services), 1997, is revoked.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but those are pretty much ALL the Acts invoked to deal with the striking unions during the Harris era, right?

Now I know that Omnibus bills like Bill 212 are passed on a regular basis, in order to help expedite the clean up and streamlining of existing legislation. But I'm somewhat curious as to why the McGuinty government has gone and done this now... and what are the consequences of repealing these Acts now. Aren't we heading into a period of labour negotiations with these groups fairly soon?

Here's my theory... the Teachers Unions know that they've got a sweet deal under McGuinty's Liberals, and they don't want to harm them in the polls right now and put that sweet deal at risk. At the same time, the McGuinty Liberals know they've also got a sweet deal with the Teachers Unions, and they don't want to put that at risk either. So, I'm sure there's a little "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" stuff going on in the background, and there won't be any labour unrest with them this year, and the government will give in to the union's significantly reduced demands pretty much without question... though it will still be a deal that's far to rich in these tough economic times, mind you.

Therefore, it's my opinion that these moves (which assumes I'm reading it correctly, which I'll admit may well be off) aren't for this current set of negotiations, but for the next set... WHICH WILL OCCUR AFTER THE 2011 ONTARIO ELECTION.

You know, THAT 2011 Election... THE ONE THE LIBERALS FEAR THAT THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE. Call me cynical, but I'm betting that this is a "Let's screw Tim Hudak post-2011, just in case he wins" move by the McGuinty Liberals.

As I said, this is all assuming that I've interpreted the removal of these other Acts correctly... and assuming that they're still in force, thereby limiting the Teacher's ability to strike. Again, a more learned person's perspective on this would be appreciated, but I just wanted to throw it out there so that SOMEONE who can figure it out will give it a look. Please tell me if I've got it all wrong... I'd actually be relieved to know that.

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  • At Tue. Feb. 09, 04:15:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are off base. This just cleaned up the legislation. The parts listed are no long relevant. They sent striking teachers back to work. Note some go back as far as 1997. The teachers eventually signed agreements. Taking these away has nothing to do with the future.

    Teachers still work under the same legislation which allows them to strike as a last resort.

  • At Tue. Feb. 09, 08:32:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Sandy said…


    Ontario teachers have had the right to strike since another battle in the 1970's.

    Remember, they went out in October 1997 for two weeks during the first Harris mandate.

    I was working for a PC MPP then and it wasn't pleasant to be a retired educator and a Harris political staffer.

    Harris' Omnibus Bill 160 didn't touch strike rights and neither has any other legislation since.

    If it had you would have had much protesting in the streets, believe me. Anything the McGuinty crew has done is just clean up some clauses -- likely at the request of ETFO, OSSTF or OECTA.

  • At Tue. Feb. 09, 08:40:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    That's sorta what concerns me Sandy... why would you eliminate some potential tools in the legislative toolbox when you might be in need of them?

    Like I said, I don't know what provisions are in there, if there are any at all, that might come in handy... but it does make me wonder just who's pulling the strings.

    Again, it's my hope that someone with more expertise will be able to follow the breadcrumbs and tell us what we're missing... if anything.


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