Teachers vote on tentative agreement


Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have until tomorrow (Thursday) to vote on a tentative agreement, reached with the province and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association after more than a year of grueling negotiations.


The teachers’ union advised its members last Monday to suspend strike action after the tentative agreement was reached. The teachers have been without a contract since August 2014.


“This round of bargaining has been exceptionally lengthy and difficult but in the end we achieved a tentative agreement that ETFO believes is fair and meets the needs of our members,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in a media statement. “ETFO is a democratic organization and ultimately it is the membership that will determine whether this tentative agreement is acceptable. Local leaders will now focus their efforts on reaching agreements in their respective school boards.”


According to a report in the Globe and Mail, which obtained a copy of the tentative agreement, elementary teachers will receive raises, $600,000 in additional professional development funding and a pledge from the province to keep a closer eye on school boards to ensure that they are sticking to class size caps.


The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents educational assistants, custodians, office administrators, early childhood educators and librarians, also reached a tentative agreement with the province last Monday and its members have ended work to rule job action.