Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to OSSTF’s continued strike action Friday afternoon:
“We want a deal that keeps students in class. Strikes by the teachers’ unions have resulted in millions of student days lost. Days where students should have been in class preparing for math tests, practising for hockey games or music competitions, and learning the skills needed to succeed in their educational journey and beyond.
While OSSTF demands a $1.5 billion increase in wages and benefits, we will advance the case for investment in our kids. I’d rather see us reduce classroom sizes or invest further in improving math performance, as opposed to spending over $600 million (sector-wide) on a hike to an already generous benefits plan. With over 80 cents to the dollar spent on compensation and over 60% increase in spending since 2003, taxpayers and parents rightfully expect more and better for our students. We agree.
We have always been ready to meet at the negotiating table to reach a deal that keeps students in class.”