Elementary teachers reach tentative settlement to extend 2014-2017 agreements

ONTARIO—The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has reached tentative extension agreements with the government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) and the Counsel of Trustees Associations to extend its 2014-2017 collective agreements.

A February 2 ETFO release explains separate tentative agreements have been negotiated for ETFO’s teacher/occasional teacher and education worker members. All of ETFO’s current collective agreements expire on August 31, 2017.

“Our goals were to negotiate terms that improve the working conditions of ETFO members and the learning conditions of Ontario’s elementary students,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond. “ETFO believes these goals have been achieved.”

Mr. Hammond said that, “while ETFO’s executive has endorsed the terms of these tentative extension agreements, the decision to accept them ultimately rests with ETFO’s 78,000 members. Our members will vote to determine whether the negotiated terms meet their needs.”

In a press release, Mitzie Hunter, minister of education, said “we have entered into discussions with our education partners to build upon the gains we’ve made in Ontario’s publicly funded education system and to continue to give students the best educational experience possible. Our goal with respect to any collective agreement is an agreement that promotes stability in the sector, is consistent with our fiscal plan, and achieves positive results for students and for those who work in the education system. The recent round of discussions with the (ETFO), the Ontario Public School Board’s Association and the Council of Trustees Associations, was extremely collaborative and productive, and has resulted in a tentative agreement to extend their current contract by two years.”

Ms. Hunter continued, “the tentative agreements reached with ETFO, OCEW, OECTA, CUPE, AEFO and EWAO, if ratified, allow us to stay focused on what matters most: our students. We are still realizing the benefits from the last round of labour negotiations. We are focusing on our shared priorities and building upon the gains we’ve made in Ontario’s publicly funded education system. These gains include the highest graduation rate in the province’s history, strong literacy and reading results, and equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need today for tomorrow’s rapidly changing world.”

“Today’s news is proof to Ontario’s youngest learners and their parents that the adults involved in their education are working together and are focused on their path to success,” added Ms. Hunter.

The date for ETFO’s ratification votes has yet to be determined. ETFO will review the details of the tentative extension agreements with its local leaders and members and will make no further comments to the medial at this time.