Ahead of possible job action in the coming months, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) seems to be laying their case for a strike all for a good cause. They contend that if the Ontario Conservatives have their way, it isn’t the well-paid teachers that lose, rather it is the beleaguered student who stands to lose it all. A loss of 616 high school teachers over the next four years is expected as a result of larger class sizes, according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
“If 616 secondary teachers are removed, this translates into over 3,600 fewer classes for secondary students in Peel,” says Andrew Sobolewski, president of the teacher bargaining unit of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 19, in a statement.
Some confounding variables include enrolment changes, unknown funding cuts and announcements, and local collective agreement language that affects class maximum sizes.
The CCPA report focuses on the impact education cuts will have on teachers, but it says the ramifications reach beyond these numbers. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.
Education workers throughout the province, such as support staff, social workers, office assistants, psychologists and other educational personnel, will also be affected over the coming years, according to the report.
According to a Fraser Institute study, among the provinces, Ontario spends the largest share of its public school dollars on teacher compensation. Extending these lucrative contracts can only mean one thing for Ontario—more and ever-increasing spending on teacher compensation.
In Ontario a whopping 77 cents of every dollar spent on K-12 public education goes to compensate teachers and staff—up from less than 73 cents 10 years ago. -CINEWS