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Public school board chair hopeful students not impacted

The new chair of the local public school board says he hopes the majority of local high school teachers who voted for a new two-year contract will decide to keep participating in extracurricular activities at their schools.
The Upper Grand District School Board recognizes that involvement in extracurriculars is voluntary, said Guelph trustee Mark Bailey, who was elected this month as the board’s new chair, replacing Orangeville trustee Bob Borden.
However, “we hope that teachers who voted locally for the agreement to be ratified will continue to work passionately with students in the classroom and will deliver the extracurriculars that we know are so rewarding, both to the students and to the teachers,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
Bailey also said he hoped Education Minister Laurel Broten will soon sign the two-year deal that has been ratified by his board and by the OSSTF local representing high school teachers.
He said he has detected “building anxiety” among local high school teachers related to the education minister not yet having signed the deal, which was ratified Nov. 27 by the Upper Grand board and the OSSTF local. It’s the only teacher deal in the province that has been ratified by both sides.
Bailey said he wanted to reassure local teachers that his board “has heard of no challenges” to the signing of the deal by the education minister.
“We are certain that the agreement will be signed, and we are optimistic that it will be done in a timely manner,” he told the Trib.
Bailey said he understands there is quite a bit of “residual anger” among local high school teachers about Bill 115.  However, the board is asking high school teachers to consider what is in the best interests of their students, he said.

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