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OSSTF and province agree on a structure to move collective bargaining forward

DAN CEARNS The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) and the Ontario provincial government have agreed on a process to potentially avoid a teachers strike during this school year.

On Friday, August 25th, both parties announced they have entered into an agreement which, if ratified by teachers union members, will see both sides negotiate the terms of a new collective agreement until October 27. At that time, all outstanding issues will be decided through arbitration.

“If this agreement is ratified, a student who entered grade nine in an English public high school last September will have their entire high school experience free from the threat of teacher strikes. That’s something all of us can celebrate,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said, in a statement.

In their own statement, OSSTF shared how the process will work and why the decision was made to take this route.

“The proposal is not a tentative agreement but establishes a clear pathway forward for this round of bargaining. The union will now begin preparations for an internal membership vote that will take place through September. Approximately 60,000 education workers and secondary school teachers from across the province will have the opportunity to vote on whether they want to enter into the proposal.”

OSSTF President Karen Littlewood stated she feels this agreement promises “to break any impasse by bringing in a third party arbitrator to seek a fair and just resolution.”

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