Deal Reached With Franco-Ontarian Teachers
McGuinty Government Putting Students First And Protecting Gains In Education
Ontario and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) 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.
Earlier this summer, Ontario signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA). The province and AEFO used this memorandum as a roadmap to reach a similar agreement that continues to support student achievement and protect full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and dedicated teaching and support staff.
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 in the second year of the agreement so that younger teachers will continue to move 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.
- Agreement on a non-monetary change to better align the French system with the rest of the education system.
The McGuinty government is urging all Ontario school boards to reach agreements with local teacher and support staff before Sept. 1 that comply with the province's fiscal plan, as reflected in the deals with OECTA, Association of Professional Student Services Personnel and AEFO. If school board trustees are unwilling or unable to negotiate and sign local agreements that comply with the province's fiscal parameters, the government is prepared to introduce legislation.
Eliminating Ontario's deficit is the single most important step toward growing the economy, to protect and create jobs and preserve significant gains made in education and health care. The province has asked doctors, broader public sector workers and teachers to hit the pause button on salary increases for two years.
- AEFO represents 10,000 professionals who work in about 450 schools and other workplaces in Ontario's French-language, Catholic and public, and elementary and secondary schools.
- 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.
“I appreciate the hard work and commitment of AEFO in using our agreement with OECTA as a roadmap to reach a deal. Working together, we will be able to protect the gains we've made in education by preserving our investments in full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, and the classroom experience.”