Ontario pays $ 2.5 million to teachers’ union to avert labour disputes

Toronto, October 23 (CINEWS): An exclusive story in the Globe and Mail reveals that Ontario’s Liberal government paid $1-million directly to the province’s high school teachers’ union as part of a deal to defuse one of its most explosive labour disputes.
This was ostensibly done in order to avert any serious labor disruption during the recently concluded federal elections. The documents further reveal that the Liberal government succumbed to most of the union demands and raised the money required to satisfy the union by diverting money from a fund for special programs that help struggling students graduate.
But what seems absolutely outrageous is that the government agreed to give $1-million in taxpayer money to OSSTF to cover the cost of the negotiations.
The deal does not make clear why taxpayers are on the hook for OSSTF’s expenses. The union collects dues from its 60,000 members to pay for activities such as negotiations. Usually unions are supposed to take care of their own expenses and if at all, the other side compensates it is mostly lost wages for union members.
Meanwhile Ontario’s education minister Liz Sandals is defending $2.5 million in special payouts to teachers’ unions, saying the groups incurred
extra costs during the latest round of bargaining — due to the Liberal government’s new system.
Liz Sandals refused to reveal how much the government spent on the compensation while it is still in negotiations with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and support staff unions.
But a memorandum of settlement shows the government agreed to pay the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation $1 million to compensate the union. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) also received $1 million, its president said, while the French teachers’ union received $500,000.

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