Bargaining continued for a seventh day Thursday between the elementary teachers’ union, government and school boards, as the union representing school support staff began their work-to-rule action.
The union representing teachers in the province’s French schools also continued talks.
So far, the province and school boards have reached tentative deals with two teacher unions, which members are to vote on this month.
The 3-year collective agreements for the province’s high school and Catholic teachers — both elementary and secondary — add one professional development day, provide a small salary increase (a total of 1.5 per cent, plus a 1 per cent lump sum payment) and retain class size and prep time.
The French teachers’ union had a number of bargaining dates over the summer, while the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario returned to the table the week before school started.
“We are continuing to bargain with ETFO in order to reach a deal at the central bargaining table,” confirmed Alessandra Fusco, press secretary to Education Minister Liz Sandals.
Talks are also ongoing for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents 55,000 support staff — custodians, secretaries, educational assistants — across all four public systems.
CUPE began work-to-rule action Thursday, which the union has said will largely go unnoticed by students as workers are to refuse unpaid overtime and not take any work home.
The province’s public elementary teachers are also engaging in job action, which includes no field trips or parent-teacher nights but is otherwise largely administrative.
CUPE was to bargain Thursday and Friday this week and three more days starting Tuesday.
The province’s French teachers’ union, represented by L’Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, or AEFO, has said no job action is planned as long as negotiations continue.
Sam Hammond, president of the elementary teachers’ union, had said the government and school boards would be in “for the fight of their lives” if they continued to push proposals about class size and prep time. However, the deals with the high school and Catholic teachers saw no changes to either.