Minister of Education on Negotiations with ETFO
TORONTO — Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the latest round of bargaining with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
"Over the past few days, the Government has further demonstrated our focus on keeping kids in class through a voluntary agreement. As part of that commitment, and to further underscore my public statements, we have affirmed in writing that we will be maintaining Ontario's world-class kindergarten program.
I have long said that compensation, pay, and benefits, remain a top priority for teachers' union leaders, and that remains true today. Even following our formal commitment to one of their publicly-stated priorities, ETFO leadership continues to advance compensation for their members over the protection of the education system for our youngest learners.
The Government has continued to signal reasonableness on issues from special education supports to efforts to counter violence in schools. Yet, the teachers' union leadership push for compensation that comes with a substantial cost to the taxpayer.
While the mediator has called off discussions for now, the Government stands ready to meet at any time, to reach a deal that keeps students in class."