Ontario reaches tentative agreement with elementary school teachers, reducing risk of strike
Published November 21, 2023 at 11:28 am
The possibility of job action in the near future from Ontario public elementary school teachers has been reduced due to a tentative agreement between the province and the union.
Today (Nov. 21), the province and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) both announced that they have reached a tentative central agreement.
The ETFO represents approximately 80,000 public elementary teachers, as well as 3,500 other educators and support workers.
“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,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce in a statement.
“This agreement brings us one step closer to ensuring there will be no provincewide job actions or strikes in all English-language public schools for the next three years.”
The province has yet to reach tentative agreements with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association or the AEFO, a union that represents educators in the province’s French-language schools.
“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,” Lecce said.
In a statement, the ETFO said the agreement was reached after over a year of bargaining.
“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,” said ETFO President Karen Brown 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.”
ETFO said the details of the agreement will be shared with members on Nov. 23, after which a ratifying vote will be held.
The province says today’s agreement applies to more than 59,000 of ETFO’s members, including public elementary teachers and occasional teachers. A previous agreement was reached with ETFO education workers in October.
The province has also reached central agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW).
Earlier this year, an agreement on a process with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) teachers and education workers was reached to ensure no strikes during this school year.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising