Ontario public school teachers see pay rise of more than 1 percent: Ford

Public sector teachers in Ontario will see their wages rise by more than one percent as legislation intended to limit benefits for those workers expires later this year.

Prime Minister Doug Ford addressed Bill 124 at an unrelated press conference on Thursday, marking the impending cut in the provincial gas tax that will take effect on Friday.

“Well, what I can tell you is, their… [public-sector teachers] The increase will be more than one percent,” Ford said.

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The progressive Conservative government passed legislation in November 2019, called the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, to limit wage increases for public sector workers to one percent per year.

At the time touted as a time-limited approach to help correct the deficit, the provisions would only be in effect for three years, but Ford has been silent on whether or not his administration will repeal or extend the measures.

His comments come as the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – which represents 55,000 education and other frontline workers in Ontario – held a press conference in Queen’s Park to end the controversial bill, which also cuts wages. of those who work in the county’s health system.

“In light of historic inflation, currently 7.7 percent, that’s” [one per cent wage increase] amounts to an unacceptable cut in wages. This means that frontline workers — such as PSWs, RPNs, college janitors and so many others — are now struggling to make ends meet, let alone move forward,” the union said in a press release.

Amid calls for the measures to be lifted amid growing inflation, Ford said he has “all confidence” in Education Secretary Stephen Lecce, who is tasked with negotiating the details of some key teacher contracts that will are about to expire.

“He will do a good job and negotiate a deal fairly,” Ford said. “We fully understand inflation. We understand very well that the cost of living is rising.”

Stephen Lecce, Secretary of Education, shakes hands with Prime Minister Doug Ford as he takes his oath during the swearing-in ceremony with Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell at Queen’s Park in Toronto on June 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ford went on to say that while the raises teachers will see won’t go “through the roof,” he claimed the negotiations will be “fair” and keep students in the classroom.

“I get it, I understand that costs are rising. But we can’t get the kids out of school no matter what,” he said.

“My message to the teachers’ unions is one thing: those children have to go back to school in September. And they have to go back to school with extracurricular activities.”

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