News Local

Teachers' union reaches tentative deal with province

Cheryl Browne

By Cheryl Browne, Barrie Examiner

Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals arrives to give an update on labour negotiations with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario at Queens Park in Toronto, Monday.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals arrives to give an update on labour negotiations with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario at Queens Park in Toronto, Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Strike action was narrowly averted by a last-minute tentative agreement signed between the province and the elementary teachers' union, Monday afternoon.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) asked its members to suspend strike action in light of the agreement with the province.

“ETFO is a democratic organization and ultimately it is the membership that will determine whether this tentative agreement is acceptable,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond.

Hammond said local leaders can now focus their efforts on reaching agreements with their respective school boards.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) also reached a tentative agreement with the province Monday, so the Simcoe County Public School Board's schools will be cleaned and maintained again.

The news was well received by the public school board, said Melanie Slade Morrison, manager of communications.

“We are happy the Ontario Public School Board Association and the government reached a tentative agreement with ETFO,” said Slade Morrison. “We look forward to working with all of our staff to provide high-quality educational opportunities to all of our students.”

Slade Morrison said they will continue to negotiate with local bargaining units to achieve agreements with those non-payroll related items.

In a news conference shortly before the dinner hour, Education Minister Liz Sandals said she was pleased at the agreements-in-principle between the unions and the province.

Sandals said the union had not only agreed to suspend its threat of rotating one-day strikes, but would also get to work on report cards.

Sandals did note, however, that the fall progress reports would be handed out in early December instead by the Nov. 20 deadline originally planned.

 

cheryl.browne@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1