Volume 94, Issue 8


NEWS

Walden marching into sunset

Teachers on board, questions remain

Londoners apathetic to upcoming elections

Western Shinerama shines the brightest

Briefs

USC looking to hire a few good interns

Americans look north for education

Oz finally taps his ruby shoes

Planet Me

Teachers on board, questions remain

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff



Although they voted in favour of an agreement to allow themselves to stick around for after-school activities, there is still no guarantee London highschool teachers will begin supervision of extra-curricular duties.

John Laughlin, director of education for the Thames Valley District School Board, said teachers voted to ratify a one-year collective agreement last night. "Because of the upheaval going on in provincial education, a one-year agreement seemed to be in the best interest of all those involved," he said.

Ken Coran, president of the Thames Valley local of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation, stressed the heavy increase in work-load the teachers will be facing in the upcoming year. "There's a lot of emotion right now," he explained. "The teachers are under a lot of pressure. Extra-curricular activities will still be voluntary. We want coaches to be happy, we want coaches to be dedicated and we want them to do it of their own volition."

Coran explained Thames Valley is the first Ontario school board to come to a collective agreement with its teachers. "We have a ratified agreement. Unless something changes we will not be involved in any strike or work-to-rule situation."

Sabine Goldberg, Girls Athletic Association president at A.B. Lucas secondary school, said there have been numerous protests over the last week by students from high schools such as John Paul II Secondary, South Secondary School, Central Secondary and Beal Secondary, including one yesterday morning at A.B. Lucas Secondary. She explained the protests surrounded the lack of extra-curricular activities currently available at London high schools.

"Everyone has their own opinion," Goldberg said. "Most of us are not for the teachers or for the government. We just feel like were being used as a bargaining tool. But we made our point. We're willing to walk.

"This current situation damages a highschool athlete's chances at a scholarship," she explained.

Goldberg stressed that it is not just sports programs that are suffering from lack of supervision. She explained that highschool dances have had to rely on parent volunteers and said there may not even be a yearbook without teacher assistance.

Rob Savage, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, said the provincial government fully endorsed the negotiations going on between the various boards. "They are bargaining. They are following the proper process."

Savage said he refused to discuss what the consequences would be for those boards that did not ratify a deal. "It's not helpful to speculate. We just want negotiations to continue."




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