Ontario’s Minister of Education says he has agreed on a deal that will avert any upcoming strike action by elementary teachers in the province.
Stephen Lecce said Tuesday he had worked out a tentative deal with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, which represents tens of thousands of teachers.
“This is another significant tentative deal that demonstrates our government’s relentless focus on stability and getting students ‘back to basics’ in the classroom,” Lecce said in a statement.
The union said it had been the longest round of central bargaining in its history.
“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,” ETFO President Karen Brown said.
Story continues below advertisement
Details of the deal, which still needs to be ratified by members, have not been made public. The province had previously indicated compensation was one sticking point, while the union listed demands around in-classroom supports as a key concern.
Lecce said a central, tentative deal had been reached with ETFO, while “outstanding items” would go to binding arbitration. He said he could not say what issues had not been agreed and would be to an independent arbitrator.
The deal will be shown to members on Nov. 23, according to the union. Members would then need to vote by majority to accept the deal for it to be ratified.
The tentative agreement with ETFO means the government has deals with both elementary and secondary school teachers in Ontario. The Catholic and French teaching unions have not yet agreed a deal.
Catholic teachers have given their union a strike mandate they can use in negotiations.
“I urge the remaining teachers’ unions to end the delay, and come to the table to sign an agreement that ensures that every child in Ontario can learn without the threat of strikes over the next three years,” Lecce said. “The time is now to get this done.”