Elementary teachers ratify new deal with province

ONTARIO – Members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have ratified a new contract agreement with the provincial government, the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) and the Council of Trustees Associations.

A release Tuesday notes the ETFO’s teacher and occasional teacher members voted 97 percent in favour of the 2019-2022 Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement and ETFO’s education workers voted 94 percent in favour of the 2019-2022 Education Worker Central Agreement.

“Our goal was to defend public education and the working and learning conditions that have made Ontario’s education one of the best in the world,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “While these negotiations were prolonged and difficult, our educators—with the support from parents and other community members—stood firm in the face of planned government cuts to education.”

“Along with our members, we want to thank parents and other supporters for standing together to defend public education over this past year,” added Mr. Hammond.

As part of the deal ratified by the ETFO, it includes a Supports for Students Fund that preserves 100 percent of special education and priority funding negotiated in 2017; the Kindergarten model, with its teacher/designated early childhood educator (DECE) team, is preserved for the life of the agreement; proposed government funding cuts of $150 million to public elementary spending were withdrawn; elementary class size language in local collective agreements is preserved and there will be no class size increases during the life of the agreement; professional development/learning funds for education workers are increased; and sustainable funding for member benefits will continue.

ETFO locals will now work with school boards to negotiate local collective agreements. 

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at BuildingBetterSchools.ca.