Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


Posted Feb.6

Posted Dec. 16

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney






(Posted 9 a.m., Sept. 19)
Colonel By to offer after-school activities, not so at Cairine Wilson
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Students at Cairine Wilson Secondary School are finding out firsthand that life isn't fair after the school recently announced that it would be canceling all after-school activities due to the teachers refusal to volunteer in defiance of Bill 115.

Bill 115, ironically called the"Putting Students First Act", freezes teachers salaries for the next two years, imposes three unpaid days off in the second year, reduces the number of sick days from 12 to six, discontinues the ability to bank sick days, and bans the unions' right to strike..

In response to the Bill, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation issued a directive urging its members to reconsider volunteering for extra-curricular activities.

The directive is not binding because technically, extracurricular activities fall outside the teacher's normal duties and are done on a volunteer basis. It does, however, create a gray area in which many students are caught in the middle.

The impact of the directive also varies greatly from school to school. For instance, Colonel By Secondary School will offer a full slate of activities, including interscholastic sports, while Cairine Wilson has canceled all of its after-school programs including drama and music.

The availability of after-school programs at the east end's other two public board high schools will depend on the willingness of individual teachers to volunteer despite the union directive.

Gloucester High School has registered individuals in golf, tennis and cross-country running, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School has signed up teams for girls’ basketball, senior boys soccer and girls’ field hockey.

There was a faint hope that parents could step in and help run teams, in the teacher's absence, but each team would need a school representative on the bench or the sideline to adhere to liability requirements. In nearly every case, the school representative would have to be either the principal or vice-principal.

While many public board teachers are wrestling with the decision to coach this year, many Catholic board teachers say they plan to return to the sidelines with the odd exception.

A good reason for the difference in positions is the fact that the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association has a memorandum of understanding in place with the provincial government that covers the next two years, while the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation has no such agreement in place. Ontario French Catholic and public board teachers also have a memorandum of understanding in place.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12

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