KAWARTHA LAKES-The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says it has reached a tentative central agreement with the province for its 80,000 teacher and occasional teacher members with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Ontario government.
“After 14 months of central bargaining, we’re pleased to be able to bring forward a tentative agreement to our teacher and occasional teacher members that protects their collective agreement entitlements and also addresses key bargaining goals,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “This has been the longest round of central bargaining in ETFO’s history, but we persisted. We remained focused on getting government cuts off the table and on addressing members’ working conditions, which are students’ learning conditions.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the agreement means they are one step closer to ensuring there will be no provincewide job action or strikes in English-language public schools for at least three years.
“Our youngest learners in elementary schools need consistency in their lives. Our priority is to ensure children remain in class without disruption, with a focus on going ‘back to basics’ so students can master reading, writing and math skills.
Details of the agreement will be shared with ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members on Thursday, November 23, after a meeting with their local presidents and chief negotiators. A ratification vote is being scheduled; details of the vote will be shared with members once they are confirmed.
“With the assistance of the conciliator appointed by the Minister of Labour, ETFO was able to reach a tentative agreement that, we believe, meets the needs of our teacher and occasional teacher members. We’re pleased with the improvements that we were able to secure during negotiations,” adds Brown.
This agreement applies to public elementary teachers and occasional teachers. A previous agreement was reached with ETFO education workers in October.
“I urge the remaining teachers’ unions to end the delay and come to the table and sign an agreement that ensures every child in Ontario can learn without the threat of strikes over the next three years. The time is now to get this done.” continued Lecce.