DAN CEARNS The Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: Ontario’s elementary teachers’ union and the Ontario government have reportedly reached an agreement.
On Tuesday, November 21st, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced they had reached a tentative bargaining agreement 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 [which] protects their collective agreement entitlements and also addresses key bargaining goals,” ETFO President, Karen Brown said, in a statement. “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.”
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Ontario Education Minister, Stephen Lecce celebrated and welcomed the agreement.
“This agreement brings us one step closer to ensuring there will be no province-wide job actions or strikes in all English-language public schools for the next three years. This is another significant tentative deal which demonstrates our government’s relentless focus on stability and getting students ‘back to basics’ in the classroom,” he wrote.
Union members were presented the details of the agreement, on Thursday, November 23rd, and then a ratification vote will follow later. As it is a tentative agreement, the deal must be ratified by the union’s members.
In a press release, ETFO stated, “details of the vote will be shared with members, once they are confirmed.”
Teachers bargaining agreements are negotiated in two separate steps. One is this one, at the central table with the Ontario government, and the other is local union branches negotiating with school boards.