The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has risen for summer recess. The government passed a motion on June 6 that will see MPPs return to Queen’s Park on October 28, 2019 – a week after the Federal Election. The government issued a news release, Ontario Government Protecting What Matters Most, summarizing their spring session activities.
There is speculation that the Premier may conduct a cabinet shuffle that includes the education portfolio. OPSBA will share details and information if, and when, any changes are announced. June 7 marked the one year anniversary of the PC Party of Ontario winning a majority government in the 2018 provincial election.
Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019
Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy introduced this legislation on June 5. The legislation proposes to cap public sector wage hikes to an average of 1% per year for the next three years. It impacts over a million unionized and non-unionized employees and applies to future collective agreements with the public service, school boards, teachers, colleges and universities, nurses, the OPP, Ornge, Ontario Power Generation, the Independent Electricity System Operator, childrens’ aid societies, hospitals, and several other bodies. Municipalities and entities they are responsible for, such as firefighters and local police, are not covered by the legislation, nor is the Ontario Medical Association, judges or certain broader public sector executives, including those on school boards who are under the Broader Public Executive Compensation Act, 2014. The rationale is that their wages have been largely frozen for the past decade. The government plans to launch an informational website and hold consultations related to the plan during the summer break. In April, Bethlenfalvy announced consultations with public sector unions over the compensation. OPSBA attended a session along with the other school board/trustee associations.
Treasury Board staff are continuing to work toward a broader public sector executive compensation model to move beyond the current freeze and have indicated that they do not object to the salary frameworks approved last year. The four trustee associations, as well as the Council of Directors of Education (CODE), are being asked for representative samples of the following:
- Performance-based compensation in existing executive contracts, including any lump sum bonuses if/where they are present
- Salary grids for executives (e.g. grid length and percentage/dollar amount of steps on the grid)
Treasury Board officials have stated that any salary increases will need to include performance-based assessment and that increases based solely on time in the position would not be supported. OPSBA is working with CODE and will also follow up directly with Board of Director members in a separate communication about the above requests. The Association has always supported local board autonomy and individual practices and processes for the selection and review of their Director of Education.
Curriculum Releases – Implementation for Fall 2019
- Indigenous Education: The Ministry of Education announced details for this on May 21 in their news release, Ontario Launches First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies Curriculum. Later this month on June 19, the ministry is hosting a stakeholder engagement session to “discuss the co-development of a strategy to support Indigenous focused curriculum revisions, including revisions to Indigenous languages curriculum.” Representatives from OPSBA’s Indigenous Trustees’ Council attending this meeting will be Vice Chair Lucille Kyle and Eric Bortlis.
- Health and Physical Education: The revised elementary curriculum was to be released in May. Currently, information posted on the Ministry’s website states: The new elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum will be posted on the ministry’s website in the summer of 2019. This new age-appropriate curriculum will reflect input received from more than 72,000 engagements with parents, students, educators, employers and organizations from across Ontario.
- Grade 10 Career Studies: The revised mandatory Grade 10 curriculum is expected to be released by the end of June. This was last updated in 2006.
REMINDER: OPSBA Elected Positions 2019
The OPSBA 2019 elections will be held as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place from July 4-6, 2019 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. Click here for the chart with the nominations received. Nominations for the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams can be made from the floor at regional meetings.