Austerity agenda continues with education funding: OSSTF

The Minister of Education released the Grants for Student Needs (GSNs), the funding for all school boards in Ontario.

The government stated that the GSNs provide stable funding for school boards and include an increase in funding. The reality is that the GSNs contain shifted funding and not new funding. There is no additional funding for front line services and some boards may see a decrease in their funding for next year.

The funding in the GSNs announced today also does not provide funding for Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) members still on a salary grid to move up on that grid until the 97th work day for teachers or the 1/2 work year mark for support staff.

Regardless of the funding, OSSTF/FEESO fully expects school boards to respect the end of the agreed upon two-year restraint period and have salary grids move as they should on September 1, 2014.

Paul Elliott, president of OSSTF/FEESO stated, “It is difficult to understand why, despite assurances from the government that it has moved away from McGuinty’s austerity agenda, the government has decided to extend the restraint period beyond the current collective agreement. OSSTF/FEESO members had significant concessions imposed upon them under Bill 115 which they may never recover from in their careers. It is not acceptable that education workers are once again bearing the brunt of the austerity agenda to help the government balance its books.”

Elliott concluded, “The extension of this restraint period only serves to undermine the work and dedication of all of our front line workers to build a world class education system.”