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Ontario heads square off with teachers

Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

TORONTO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his education minister have proposed legislation that would prevent teacher work stoppages for two years.

Education Minister Laurel Broten unveiled the back-to-work legislation last week that will ban teacher strikes and prevent boards from locking out teachers, and McGuinty said Friday the House could be called back into session next Sunday to take up the issue, the QMI Agency reported.

McGuinty and his minister are pushing the teachers unions to agree to a freeze on both general wages and the advancement grid, the news service said. In return, teachers would gain some control over hiring and teacher testing.

QMI notes the confrontation with the teachers unions is an about-face for McGuinty, who has befriended them the past nine years, just ahead of Sept. 6 elections, and says it has ignited speculation among pundits about whether he is instigating the confrontation in anticipation of his exit from politics.

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