Ontario elementary teachers’ union, province reach tentative agreement

Ontario’s elementary teachers’ union has reached a tentative agreement with the province.

In a message sent to members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the union says local presidents and chief negotiators will be reviewing the terms of the agreement during a phone town hall on Wednesday.

“This has been a very prolonged and difficult bargaining process,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in a statement.

“We are very grateful for the support and unwavering solidarity of our members, and the public who have continued to stand up for public education and the supports that our students and educators need now and in the future.”

ETFO said separate central agreements had been negotiated for teachers and education workers.

“While ETFO’s Provincial Executive has endorsed the terms of these tentative central agreements, the decision to accept them ultimately rests with ETFO’s 83,000 members,” Hammond said.

ETFO is the largest teachers’ union in the province and the second — behind the Catholic teachers’ union — to reach a deal.

Details of the deal were not available.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government is committed to maintaining class sizes and full-day kindergarten, investing in special education, and a “fair” increase in compensation.

The government previously said it wouldn’t budge on one-per cent salary increases per year, though the unions were asking for two per cent.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Secondary School teachers’ Federation and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens remain without deals.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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