ETFO and CUPE reach deals with province
By Angelica Ingram
Elementary school teachers and education workers represented by CUPE have reached a tentative deal with the province, both of which were announced on Monday, Nov. 2.
The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario issued a release advising its members to suspend strike action in light of the tentative agreement that had been reached with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the government.
“This round of bargaining has been exceptionally lengthy and difficult but in the end we achieved a tentative agreement that ETFO believes is fair and meets the needs of our members,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond in the release.
A Nov. 1 deadline imposed by the provincial government saw ramped up negotiations between ETFO and the province, negotiations that lasted all weekend and went well into this past Monday. Negotiations between ETFO and the province began in September, as teachers had been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2014.
Details of the tentative agreement are not being released until members and local presidents have had a chance to review them.
An all-member vote on the agreement will be conducted, with results expected sometime mid-November, according to ETFO.
“ETFO’s bargaining team will continue central table negotiations on behalf of its designated early childhood educators, education support personnel and professional support personnel,” reads the release.
Elementary teachers had recently entered into Phase 3 of a work-to-rule action, which saw them withdraw from all voluntary extra-curricular activities and not issue fall progress reports.
Premier Kathleen Wynne had given ETFO until Nov. 1 to reach an agreement or else teachers’ salaries could be docked.
ETFO represents 78,000 elementary education workers.
CUPE, which represents 55,000 employees, issued a media release stating they had reached a tentative deal with the Crown and the Council of Trustee Associations in central talks.
“The union is calling an end to its province-wide work-to-rule job action,” said the release.
Work-to-rule had included caretakers not cleaning school hallways, among other things.
CUPE workers have also been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2014, according to the union. While details of the deal have not yet been released, the tentative agreement covers all four school board systems.
CUPE represents custodians, office administrators, early childhood educators and more. Members will review the deal before voting on it.