For Immediate Release
Guelph, ON – Green Party leader Mike Schreiner made the following statement today at the one-day teachers’ strike taking place in Guelph:
“Our kids’ education must come first. Disruptions in the classroom need to end. We need the government and unions to get Ontario schools working again.
The Green Party is opposed to Bill 115. The teachers put a wage freeze on table, and the Liberals slammed the door in their face.
This latest crisis in education stems directly from the Liberals disrespect for the democratic rights of workers to bargain collectively.
The supposed reasoning behind Bill 115 is deficit reduction. I agree that tackling our deficit needs to be a priority – it is irresponsible that the third largest spending category in Ontario is interest on debt.
We’ve now had a crisis in education under successive NDP, PC and Liberal governments. Yet the old parties at Queen’s Park, the ones who have created repeated crises in our education system, refuse to talk about the elephant in the room: ending duplicate funding for a separate school system, which would save us more than $1 billion a year.
Let’s get everyone back to the bargaining table for fair negotiations – let’s negotiate a wage freeze, not legislate one.”