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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Central Agreements Now Ratified

Posted On: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Central Agreements Now Ratified

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the ratification of the central agreements with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA), and the ETFO Education Workers and the Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA):

"I would like to congratulate ETFO, OPSBA and the CTA for the ratification of the 2019-22 central agreements.

Like our deals with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO) and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) our primary objective was to reach good deals with teachers' and education workers' unions, that will advance the priorities of students and parents.

Teachers and education workers play a critical role in promoting positive learning environments for students in all corners of our province — they provide a safe and stimulating educational environment that promotes growth and learning.

Our government demonstrated an unwavering commitment to reaching deals that will protect our children's futures and invest in their potential. We now have tentative central agreements with everyone and have delivered five ratified deals to date."

Ministry of Education

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 central agreements with ETFO Teachers and Education Workers demonstrate the government's commitment to reaching deals that protect our children's futures and invest in their potential. The government also agreed to ratification of agreements with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on November 4, 2019, the Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO) on February 4, 2020, and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) on April 8, 2020.

These agreements were reached while respecting taxpayers, students and families, and recognizing the important contributions 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 September 1, 2019, through to August 31, 2022.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CENTRAL AGREEMENT WITH EDUCATION WORKERS

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.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CENTRAL AGREEMENT WITH TEACHERS

Compensation and benefits: Under the agreement, ETFO teachers will receive a one per cent increase to wages and salaries per year for three years. There is a one per cent increase to benefits funding in each year of the agreement, which may be used to supplement inflationary increases. An additional one-time three per cent increase is available if actual inflation costs are higher. These provisions are consistent with Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019.

Support for Students Fund: The government will invest approximately $89.1 million over two years in government priorities, including addressing special education supports, mental health and well-being initiatives, and STEM education.

Class Size and Full Day Kindergarten: The government is maintaining full-day kindergarten and retaining the existing staffing model in kindergarten and grades 1-8 for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

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 government's unilateral prerogative to create, amend, or revoke hiring practice regulations in the education system, including O. Reg 274/12.

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