Elementary Teachers ratify agreements

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The central agreements with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have been ratified by school boards and the union, and agreed to by the Government of Ontario. ETFO represents approximately 2,724 education workers in the English-language public and English-language Catholic K-12 education sector, and more than 83,000 elementary teachers in the English-language public K-12 education sector.

These agreements were reached while respecting taxpayers, students and families, and recognizing the important contri- butions of front-line workers in our education system. They reflect the government’s commitment to a fiscally sustainable publicly funded education system.
Collective agreements between school boards and ETFO include both central and local terms. The central terms are now resolved. In order to complete the collective bargaining process, local terms need to be reached between each school board and its ETFO Teacher and Education Worker bargaining units.

The three-year collective agreements will be effective backdated to September 1, 2019, through to August 31, 2022. Compensation and benefits: Under the agreement, ETFO education workers will receive a one per cent increase to wages and salaries per year for three years.

Benefits funding will be provided as a one-time inflationary increase equivalent to 4 per cent per year at the end of the agreement. A funding increase could be provided earlier if the plan falls below certain funding thresholds. These provisions are consistent with Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019. Support for Students Fund: Total system priorities investments in the amount of approximately $0.9 million over two years beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The funds will be used to protect and enhance services and supports for students with special education needs.

Professional Development/Learning: The Crown has created a one-time Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF) grant in the amount of $2.8 million over two years beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Funds from this PPF will be used for professional learning for education workers. Boards and local bargaining units shall meet to discuss the utilization of these funds.

Class Size and Full-Day Kindergarten: There are no changes to class size for Ontario’s youngest learners in junior kindergarten through Grade 3. Provincial funding, and legislated class size restrictions provide class sizes for grades 4-8 to reflect an average class size of 24.5.

Address absenteeism and reduced sick leave usage: The agreement includes a measure to reduce the impact of routine medical and dental appointments during the school day.

Health and Safety: Teachers will be provided with one half-day of violence prevention training in each of the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.

Hiring practices: ETFO formally recognized the govern- ment’s unilateral prerogative to create, amend, or revoke hiring practice regulations in the education system, including O. Reg 274/12.

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