PROVINCE AND SCHOOL BOARDS IN FOR "FIGHT OF THEIR LIVES", SAYS ETFO PRESIDENT ON UNSETTLED TEACHER CONTRACTS

Aug 18, 2015

By Jane Brown

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There’s a renewed focus in this province on negotiations to get Ontario’s 115,000 teachers new contracts.  With just 3 weeks to go until the new school year begins, Premier Kathleen Wynne is publicly optimistic agreements can be reached.

“We have dates with the federations that are not yet at the table, but we know that they’re going to be at the table, so I’m more optimistic than I was a few weeks ago, but it’s obviously going to be a hard few weeks as we work to make sure that kids are in school.  It is my number one priority as we go into the fall,” Wynne explained.

Delegates with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario took part in the union’s annual meeting yesterday where their president was talking tough. Sam Hammond told the gathering the province and school board “are in for the fight of their lives” if they push proposals that could undermine public education or increase class sizes.

“ETFO has always been ready to negotiate a fair collective agreement for our members.  It’s been almost a year since our collective agreements expired.  Where have you been?” Hammond openly questioned the provincial government and school boards.

All of Ontario’s teachers have been without a contract for nearly a year. If no new deals are reached, students will be affected by work to rule campaigns by their teachers as classes resume.

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