December 19, 2019

Central Bargaining Update

ETFO met with school board bargaining associations and government representatives on Monday, December 16 (at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table) and Thursday, December 19 (at the Education Worker Central Table). Mediator Denise Small attempted to assist the parties during negotiations.

Unfortunately, there is no progress to report. At this week’s meetings, ETFO was advised in clear and unequivocal terms that the government’s bargaining team:
  • does not have the authority to negotiate any additional funding to deal with classroom violence;
  • does not have the authority to entertain discussions about Kindergarten, Junior or Intermediate class size changes;
  • has not accepted ETFO’s proposal that funding needs to be renewed for special education and specialist teaching positions to support early years special needs, Indigenous students, “at risk” students and English Language Learners;
  • does not have the authority to negotiate professional time for ETFO’s DECE, ESP and PSP members;
  • has not advanced a proposal to renew Professional Development/Learning funds for ETFO’s DECE ESP and PSP members; and
  • does not have the authority to negotiate a cost of living increase to compensation.
In addition, the government’s bargaining team:
  • continues to demand that ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members agree to up to $150 million in reductions to public elementary education spending;
  • continues to demand that ETFO remove any language in local collective agreements that puts limits on elementary class sizes;
  • has not accepted ETFO’s proposal that the current Kindergarten model be maintained; and
  • continues to propose the elimination of fair and transparent hiring practices for occasional teachers.
Bargaining with this government has become an exercise in frustration. Because the government’s bargaining team does not appear to have a mandate to discuss most of the substantive matters on the table, an agreement around issues of concern to ETFO members will be very difficult to reach.
The mediator is working with ETFO, school board bargaining associations and government representatives to set new bargaining dates in the New Year. ETFO will continue to keep members informed of any new bargaining developments.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation Of Ontario | 136 Isabella StreetToronto, Ontario M4Y 0B5 Canada

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