Ontario Elementary Teachers to Return to Bargaining Table

Source: Canadian Press

Ontario’s elementary teachers are set to resume contract talks with the government on Wednesday, but they’re warning that if bargaining doesn’t produce an agreement, the union will resume job action after March break.

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario first vice-president Karen Campbell said the union — which represents 80,000 educators — has been called back to the bargaining table by a government-appointed mediator.

But Campbell warned Education Minister Stephen Lecce that the union expects his negotiators to return to talks with serious proposals.

“The minister has an opportunity now to avoid further disruptions by reaching a fair deal with ETFO prior to March 23,” she said. “If these talks are unsuccessful, ETFO will resume strike action on the Monday following March break.”

ETFO is the latest union to agree to return to the bargaining table after Lecce made concessions on two major issues last week, though largely affecting secondary teachers.

He offered to increase average high school class sizes from 22 last year to 23 next year — instead of the government’s original target of 28 — and allow an opt-out for e-learning courses the Tories previously said would be mandatory.

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