#LecceFactCheck

Day in and day out we have seen that the information about Education shared by the Ontario government can be incomplete and/or inaccurate. We are taking this opportunity to make sure that the public has the facts.

Fact Check

Statement by Lecce Reference / Source Refuting Statement
Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, claims that, "Compensation for teachers have grown by 80%. 80% since 2003." Queen's Park Press Conference, December 6, 2019 From 2003-2018 #OSSTF teacher salaries increased by 31.7% while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 32.4% (OSSTF / Stats Can).
Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, says, "OSSTF has actually admitted there have not been layoffs." CBC Ottawa Morning, December 4, 2019 OSSTF has repeatedly said that hundreds of teachers and education workers have been laid off this year, including dozens of laid off OSSTF education workers who attended Question Period on October 28, 2019.
Minister Lecce tweeted, "203 days and counting...OSSTF has yet to make any significant moves at the table. It takes two to tango to keep kids in class" @sflecce 4:28 PM Dec 2, 2019 It's only been 62 days since we tabled our positions. They reflect what parents told the Ford government they want & they remain on the table to protect student learning.
Minister Stephen Lecce says they have made a major move on e-learning, decreasing mandatory e-learning credits from 4 to 2. Queen's Park Press Conference, November 29, 2019 The government is still planning to make e-learning a mandatory graduation requirement.
Minister Stephen Lecce says that he has shown movement by reducing class sizes from 28 to 25. Queen's Park Press Conference, November 29, 2019 The government is planning to increase class size averages from 22 to 25.
Minister Stephen Lecce says, "OSSTF has not accepted additional bargaining dates.." Queen's Park Press Conference, November 29, 2019 The government hasn't offered any additional dates.
Note - after this statement was refuted, OSSTF/FEESO was offered and accepted four additional negotiating dates.
"We have made such significant moves to date. I would submit that at the tables, they are all sort of different, but I think the overwhelming or the overarching theme is that compensation is, not exclusively,but I would argue largely, the fault line here." The John Oakley Show, November 26, 2019 None of our priorities have been decided at the table - not class sizes, not mandatory eLearning, not supports for students.
"They want [compensation] tied to cost of living, which means folks, tied to economic growth. So if you have a strong economic year, GDP’s at 3 or 4 percent, that means they are requesting automatically a 3 or 4 percent increase." The John Oakley Show, Global News, November 26, 2019 Cost of living is tied to the Consumer Price Index, not GDP. The government projects CPI increases of ≤2% per year, for the next 5 years.
On his push for mandatory e-learning courses, "The driver for me was listening to students." Newstalk 1010, November 21, 2019 According to the 2019 Ontario Student Trustees' Association student survey, over 94% of respondents opposed making e-learning a mandatory requirement for graduation. See the full report under the bargaining for education.ca Research tab/Online Learning.
"We provided the same deal as we got with CUPE and they effectively sort of walked away from that deal." Press Conference, November 21, 2019 They did not table the CUPE deal today and OSSTF/FEESO remained at negotiations all day. We asked them to table the CUPE deal to start discussions and they declined to do so.
"The government is making moves, being reasonable, trying to be constructive to keep kids in class, and on the very day, for example with OSSTF, I announced that we're reducing class sizes from the 28 provincialized average to 25, on that very day, Matt, like you can’t make it up, they decide to escalate and to go toward another step toward strike action." CFRA Radio (Ottawa) Interview, November 20, 2019 The class size average for 2018/19 was 22:1. This year, it has increased to 22.5:1. The Minister now wants to increase the class size average to 25:1. That is not a reduction.
"This government, under the leadership of this Premier, is spending more on public education than any government in the history of Ontario. Those are the facts." Question Period, Nov 19, 2019 According to the Ministry of Education, spending has decreased by an average of $54 per pupil compared to the 2018-19 school year.
"We're asking them to accept the same rate that every other public servant in this province is being asked, or requested to meet – that's 1%." CBC Metro Morning, November 19, 2019 They aren’t “asking” – The government passed Bill 124 - limiting public sector workers to a 1% maximum increase in compensation per year, except Ford’s deputy ministers, who were given 14%.
"The teacher unions want closer to 2% or more, and I’m simply saying that will cost $1.5 billion." CBC Metro Morning, November 19, 2019 OSSTF/FEESO is proposing the introduction of Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) into our collective agreements, keeping the real wage increase to zero.
"It is this government that hired nearly 200 psychologists and psychotherapists for secondary schools." Question Period, Nov 18, 2019 At the same time, there has been a reduction of $19.8M in funding, or the equivalent of 297 to 354 full-time education worker jobs.
"The government has proposed to reduce class sizes from the maximum average from 28 down to 25." Press Conference October 24, 2019 The class size average for 2018/19 was 22:1. This year, it has increased to 22.5:1. The Minister now wants to increase the class size average to 25:1.