NEWS

Toronto Catholic school board wants teachers to pay for parking

04/24/2015 06:11 EDT | Updated 07/22/2015 02:59 EDT
Teachers who work for Toronto's Catholic school board may soon have to pay up to $5 a day to park in their school's lots.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board is considering charging teachers, who currently part for free, between $1 and $5 per day to park. If it passes, the TCDSB would be the first Ontario school board to make teachers pay for parking.

The cash-strapped board, which recently laid off more than 50 employees including 22 principals, said it could vote on the idea later this spring.

"I think it's about time the sense of entitlement disappears from the education sector," said veteran trustee Maria Rizzo.

For the board that needs to find $7 million in savings, meanwhile, "it's very hard to pass up on millions of dollars of potential revenue."

Jo-ann Davis, another trustee, said while the idea may seem controversial, it's standard practice at other institutions.

"Faculty pay to park at the University of Toronto or Ryerson or Seneca, most hospital staff pay in order to park on hospitals," Davis said.

Teachers, unsurprisingly, aren't happy with the potential parking fee.

"We're quite, I want to say disappointed, but I think I want to say the word angry," said Mario Bernardo, president of the Toronto Catholic Elementary teachers union.

"Most people know that the reason we're in this deficit problem is because of errors that were committed by senior management. And at the end of the day the people that are going to be paying the price are teachers."

Earlier this month, the board laid off 30 educational assistants, 22 principals and four guidance counsellors.  

The school board has also approved other small revenue-generating changes, including charging more for student transcripts and charging more for facility rentals. 

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