Taxpayers Federation calls on the Ford government to stand up to teachers’ unions

Author: Jay Goldberg 2021/05/31

TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Ford government to stand up to the teacher’s unions as a new Ontario Financial Accountability Office report shows a major funding gap between what the province has budgeted to spend on education and what actual costs will be.

“It’s time for Premier Doug Ford to stand up to the teacher’s unions,” said Jay Goldberg, the CTF’s Interim Ontario Director. “Today’s report clearly shows expenses in the Ministry of Education are out of control and the most important item that needs to be addressed is teachers’ salaries.”

The Financial Accountability Office report is projecting a $12.3-billion gap over the next eight years. That means the report projects education costs will be $12.3 billion dollars more than the provincial government is budgeting to spend on education. The report suggests that either the Ministry of Education will need more government funding, or the government will have to control spending.

Over 71 per cent of the costs incurred by the Ministry of Education relate to employee compensation. Ontario plans to spend $30.6 billion on education in 2021-22, suggesting over $21 billion will be spent on salaries and benefits. A five per cent across-the-board cut would eliminate the funding gap over the projected eight-year span.

“Ontario has a $33.1-billion deficit and its time to control costs,” said Goldberg. “Here in Ontario, 23 per cent of teachers are making over $100,000 per year. It’s time to ask teachers to take a small pay cut to ensure that the government’s finances are sustainable. Workers outside of government have taken major pay cuts in the current downturn, and its time to ask teachers to share the burden.”