The Ministry of Education has reached a tentative agreement with elementary teachers in English public school boards throughout the province.
Minister Stephen Lecce announced the tentative three-year deal with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario on X (formerly Twitter).
"This type of outcome is one that I know was desperately demanded by government, by parents to get this done and I'm really excited that we're able to deliver on this for you," said Lecce.
The central agreement is for 80,000 teachers and occasional teachers who work at public school boards in Ontario.
“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,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “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.”
Details of the agreement will be shared with ETFO members on Thursday, November 23, 2023.
“With the assistance of the conciliator appointed by the Minister of Labour, ETFO was able to reach a tentative agreement that, we believe, meets the needs of our teacher and occasional teacher members. We’re pleased with the improvements that we were able to secure during negotiations,” said Brown.
A date for the ratification vote has not been finalized.
Lecce indicated that some outstanding issues with ETFO will go to binding arbitration.
"I can confirm that there will be items going to binding interest arbitration, of course, the particulars of this deal we will respect the process for ratification as I must. But yes we are using that frame for the outstanding issues that could not be resolved through our process of negotiating over the past weeks," said Lecce.
Lecce is encouraging the remaining teacher's unions, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens to reach similar agreements.
"We have demonstrated that we have a frame that works. For any outstanding issues we cannot agree on we'll go to binding interest arbitration so I am urging them to move quicker so we can provide certainty to their members and to all children in Ontario because we believe as a government, firmly, that kids need to be in school," said Lecce.
In September, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation agreed to binding arbitration.