The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) announced a tentative contract agreement with the provincial government. The OECTA is declining to disclose details of the proposed agreement until its members have a ratification vote, April 7 and 8.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETF0) is now back in negotiations with the Education Ministry. The ETFO announced it has suspended its rotating strike plan. The rotating pickets were to begin March 23 but are now on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
Talks with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation are still uncertain. Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced earlier this month that the provincial government will back down on two of its cost-cutting plans for Ontario’s education system.
The government planned to increase high school class sizes on average to 28 in the next term, but now that increase will be limited to 23, from the current average size of 22. Also e-learning for some courses will no longer be mandatory. The ministry will allow for an opt-out choice on its e-learning demand.
But the provincial government still wants to limit an increase for wages and benefits to one per cent per year. All teachers’ unions asked for a two-per cent increase on wages and six-per-cent increase on benefits, along with concessions on a government regulation that dictates seniority-based hiring.
The OECTA had stated that it would accept a one-per-cent wage increase limit if the provincial government gave up its plans for mandatory e-learning and class size increases. All four of Ontario’s teachers’ unions still plan a legal challenge to the provincial government’s wage restraint legislation, arguing that it is unconstitutional and violates collective bargaining rights.