Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Elementary Teachers, CUPE reach tentative deals


In two separate deals announced on Monday, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have reached tentative deals.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is advising its members to suspend strike action in light of a tentative agreement that has been reached with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the provincial government.

ETFO members have been without a contract since August 31, 2014 – over fourteen months.

“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 a statement released on Monday.

The union representing 55,000 education workers in Ontario schools has reached a tentative deal with the Crown and the Council of Trustee Associations (CTA) in central talks.

“The union is calling an end to its province-wide work-to-rule job action,” said a statement relased by CUPE on Monday.

CUPE members have been without a contract since August 31, 2014. CUPE has been bargaining under a new process whereby central negotiations are happening concurrently with talks at board levels across the province. The tentative agreement covers central issues negotiated on behalf of education workers in all four school board systems: English public and Catholic, and French public and Catholic.

Details of the settlement will not be released until CUPE members have had the opportunity to review it and conduct a ratification vote.

An ETFO all-member vote among teachers and occasional teachers will be conducted regarding their tentative agreement as well, with the results of that vote expected in mid-November.

“ETFO is a democratic organization and ultimately it is the membership that will determine whether this tentative agreement is acceptable,” added Hammond. “Local leaders will now focus their efforts on reaching agreements in their respective school boards.”

ETFO will review the tentative agreement with its local leaders and members before making further comments to the media. ETFO’s bargaining team will continue central table negotiations on behalf of its designated early childhood educators, education support personnel and professional support personnel.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

CUPE members in the school board sector work as educational assistants (EAs), custodians, office administrators, early childhood educators (ECEs), tradespeople, instructors, library technicians, speech pathologists, IT specialists and in many other classifications.

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