TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne says the government has not yet given teachers' unions $2.5 million to help cover the cost of negotiations, and will now require receipts to show how the money is spent.
Wynne has surprised the legislature by saying the teachers' unions will have to provide an accounting of their costs for negotiations, even though Education Minister Liz Sandals had insisted receipts were not necessary.
Wynne says there were savings elsewhere in the contracts with unions representing high school teachers, English Catholic teachers and French teachers to offset the government's move to pick up their costs for the negotiations.
The Progressive Conservatives are complaining that Wynne's story about the payouts keeps changing, and say they still want to know where the money came from.
The Tories want the auditor general to look into a total of $3.74 million the government paid unions representing teachers and education workers over the past three rounds of bargaining.
Wynne says the auditor general is free to look at anything she likes, and insists no money was taken from classrooms or student programs to pay the unions.
Meanwhile, the NDP is demanding Sandals resign for the government's failure to reach an agreement with Ontario's elementary teachers, who stepped up their work-to-rule campaign Wednesday by withdrawing from extracurricular activities.
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