Deal Reached With Catholic Teachers
McGuinty Government Putting Students First and Protecting Gains in Education
Ministry of Education
Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding for a two-year agreement that will protect the classroom experience for students as well as the gains made in education.
Working with our partners in education, Ontario is meeting its fiscal goal by saving the province $250 million in 2012-13, growing to $540 million in the second year, when the agreement is applied across the entire sector. In addition, the province would achieve one-time savings of $1.4 billion. These savings will be found while continuing to support student achievement and protect full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, and dedicated teaching and support staff.
Over the past eight years, we have made significant progress in education by working together. Today, Ontario students are ranked among the best in the world, have higher test scores and more are graduating than ever before.
In recognition of these challenging economic times, the government and Ontario's Catholic teachers worked together to put students and families first. This agreement enables Ontario to meet our fiscal goals while ensuring peace and stability in our classrooms when school starts in September.
The agreement includes:
- Zero per cent salary increases in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
- All teachers will take a 1.5 per cent pay cut in the form of three unpaid professional development days so that younger teachers will continue to be recognized through the grid for their experience and additional qualifications.
- Agreement to restructure the grid with a view to long-term, sustainable savings.
- Elimination of the current retirement gratuity for payment of unused sick days that was responsible for a $1.7 billion liability for school boards.
- A restructured short-term sick leave plan that would include up to 10 sick days.
- The sick leave plan would benefit younger teachers by providing income protection for serious illness and improved maternity leave provisions.
- Agreement to address non-monetary issues including the development of a fair and transparent hiring process for long-term occasional teachers.
This agreement will serve as a roadmap for local bargaining over the summer months and all other teacher and staff unions, and the trustee associations are encouraged to meet to discuss this understanding so that additional agreements can be reached.
The McGuinty government remains committed to working with all of its partners in education to eliminate the deficit while continuing to protect the classroom experience.
- The 1.5 per cent pay cut will affect every teacher and 39 percent of teachers will move through the grid, meaning a total of 61 per cent of OECTA teachers will see a real cut in wages.
- The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) represents 45,000 professionals who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
- Ontario's graduation rate is now 82 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2003-04. About 93,000 more students have graduated than would have if the rate remained at 68 per cent.
- Sixty-nine per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students are mastering reading, writing and math skills. This represents a 15 percentage point increase since 2003.
We have made a deliberate choice in this process - a choice to protect the gains we have made in education and to work with our partners, as we've done for the past four months. These were never going to be easy discussions, but I'm pleased that after months of difficult talks, we were able to reach an agreement with OECTA. It's an example of how teachers can successfully enter into such discussions with government that result in solutions that both protect student achievement and help us meet our fiscal targets."