English Public Elementary Teachers, Boards Unable To Reach A Provincial Agreement Before The Deadline
Despite a jointly requested five day extension, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) were unable to reach a four-year provincial framework agreement before 11:59 p.m. on December 5th.
ETFO and OPSBA turned down an $800 million increase in compensation and program enhancements by 2012-13, including a 12.55 per cent salary increase over four years.
As a result, English public boards will receive funding to cover salary increases of only two per cent for two years for their elementary teachers. This contrasts with a three per cent annual increase and other enhancements made available by the government.
The government's $800 million offer to ETFO, consistent with deals accepted by Catholic and francophone teachers, included:
- $559 million to fund a three per cent annual salary increase or 12.55 per cent over four years , bringing the maximum salary to about $94,600;
- $141 million to reduce teachers' instruction workload by 40 minutes, from 21.67 hours to 21 hours per week;
- $53 million to hire more teachers in grades 4 to 8;
- $18 million to enhance professional development for elementary teachers;
- $16 million to increase supervision of elementary students;
- $13 million to improve benefits for teachers and working conditions for occasional teachers.
That original offer was still on the table six months after it was first tabled, despite the significant economic changes that have occurred since then.
Teachers' collective agreements expired on August 31, 2008. English public elementary teachers are the only unionized employees in Ontario's school boards not covered by a framework agreement.
- ETFO first left provincial discussions last May. U nions and trustee associations had until November 30th to sign on to four-year provincial framework agreements to be fully eligible for $2.5 billion in funding enhancements by 2011-12.
- The November 30th deadline for unions and boards to be fully eligible for funding enhancements was known since May. It was vol untarily agreed to by the four trustee associations and 22 provincial unions.
- Provincial agreements cover 152,000 of the 210,000 employees in elementary and secondary schools and 394 of the 475 collective agreements. Remaining employees and bargaining units are exclusively English public elementary teachers and occasional teachers represented by ETFO.
“I am very disappointed that ETFO and OPSBA were unable to reach a provincial framework agreement. We truly value elementary teachers and school boards, and I encourage them to try to work together for the benefit of our students.”