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OSSTF ratifies deals reached with province, boards association

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA: High school teachers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) have voted to ratify bargaining agreements reached at the central table. The union announced, on Saturday, May 16th, their members voted to accept deals reached with the province of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. However, OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof noted, in a press release, these deals weren’t reached under the best of circumstances. “OSSTF/FEESO members recognize these deals are imperfect but provide needed stability in these trying times,” Mr. Bischof said. Mr. Bischof went on to state “larger classes, mandatory e-learning, and reduced funding for student supports will still be a reality in the province’s schools next September.” Ontario education minister Stephen Lecce saw the ratification of these deals as a victory for all Ontarians. “I would like to congratulate all of the parties for the ratification of the 2019-22 central agreements, delivering needed stability for Ontario’s children, parents, and all education staff,” Minister Lecce said, in a statement. “Our Government achieved our main priority, landing deals that advance the priorities of students, parents, and taxpayers. We now have successfully ratified central agreements with all of our education labour partners. Our focus will be to work with all partners in this unprecedented time to deliver the best education using every tool available, including technology, to support academic achievement. We thank teachers and education workers for playing a critical role in promoting positive learning environments for students in all corners of our province, most especially those conducting synchronous online learning.”

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