The Globe says:
The memo suggests that school boards could be facing a provincial takeover if they do not sign teacher contracts within the next six weeks, consequences a government spokesman would neither confirm nor deny.However, having read the memo (and possible the Globe got a different version), I don't see what's there to be so bold as to say cabinet is ready over the order paper to start taking control of school boards.
From the memo, also quoted by the Globe:
In addition to being balanced, budgets must be financially sustainable over the longer term. This means local bargaining outcomes must align with the provincial funding framework.Nor do I see the memo suggesting the boards have their collective agreements signed before the start of the school year. I do see reference to ensuring the school year starts and continues, which to me is more of a suggestion that boards not lock out their employees. They're asked to advise on the status of negotiations by Aug. 1, but there's nothing in the memo saying the deals have to be signed before the beginning of the school year.
Concluding local bargaining outcomes outside the terms of the provincial funding framework would raise concerns about a board's ability to meet its financial obligations, at which point the Minister could (my emphasis) decide to exercise her powers as set out in the Education Act, to put the board on more sustainable footing.
If anything, this memo is a shot across the federations' bow, in addition to a warning to school boards.
The province pays you. They fund you. Don't break the bounds of the funding rules they've laid out for you. Federations choosing (this time, with concessions on the table) not to engage in the discussion table process and solely engaging in local bargaining hope to outmuscle school boards many of whom cannot hope to match the federations' co-ordinated approach.
(As I mentioned in a comment earlier, funny the federations without agreements are all pissy this time with concessions on the table. They didn't seem to have those issues when the cash was flowing freely at the discussion tables in the last two rounds.)
For boards that might consider taking money out of provincial funding envelopes to cover items their unions want and the province isn't funding, this memo sets it out clearly-- fund above what we set out at your own risk.