OCEW Central Agreement Now Ratified
The central agreement with the Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW) has been ratified. OCEW is a council of seven unions whose members represent about eight per cent of education workers or approximately 6,900 positions, across the province, including custodial and maintenance workers, educational assistants, and early childhood educators.
This central agreement with OCEW demonstrates the government's commitment to reaching deals that protect our children's futures and invest in their potential. The government also agreed to ratification of agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on November 4, 2019, the Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO) on February 4, 2020, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) on April 8, 2020 and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on April 28, 2020.
These agreements were reached by recognizing the important contributions of education workers, while respecting taxpayers, students and families, and demonstrating the government's commitment to a fiscally sustainable publicly funded education system.
Collective agreements between school boards and OCEW's bargaining units include central terms and local terms. The central terms are now resolved. In order to complete the collective bargaining process, local terms need to be reached between each school board and its local bargaining units.
The central agreement was reached on April 4 between OCEW, the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA), the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association (OCSTA), and the Crown.
The three-year collective agreements will be effective from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CENTRAL AGREEMENT
Compensation and Benefits: Under the agreement, OCEW education workers will receive a one per cent wage increase per year for three years. Benefits plan costs will also be held to a one per cent increase in each of the three years of the agreement.
Support for Students Fund: The government will fund $9,657,372 in 2020-2021 and $9,753,946 in the 2021-2022 school year. The fund will be allocated for permanent staff according to board needs, supports for students with special needs, English Language Learners, Indigenous students, and student mental health and well being initiatives.
Job Security: Jobs will be maintained but may vary through attrition, changes in student enrolment, school closures, and other factors.
Reducing absenteeism and sick leave usage: The agreement includes a requirement stating that a medical certificate may be requested by the school board and shall be provided for access to the short-term disability leave. Measures also give school boards the ability to seek additional medical information relating to sick leave or short-term disability leave usage.