High-School Teachers, Support Staff of Ontario Agrees on Labour Deal

The high school teachers’ and support staff in Ontario has voted in favour of a deal that is aimed at improving compensation for newer teachers and bringing labour peace to the province’s public secondary schools. The agreement with the government received an 84-per-cent approval from the members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the union announced on Thursday evening.

The deal approved by the federation, initially reached by the government, includes terms imposed by legislation earlier this year. The deal allows a decrease in a pay cut recently imposed through legislation from a mandatory three unpaid professional development days to one. Additionally, the deal imposes disbursements for younger teachers who lost their banked sick days under the legislated contract terms. The president of OSSTF, Ken Coran, mentioned in a statement that “our members have exercised their democratic rights within our federation to vote on the changes to the working conditions that were imposed on us by the Ontario government in January and they have voted to endorse those changes.”

Negations are already underway with the unions for elementary teachers. Union leaders have also instructed members to resume extracurricular activities in time for the spring sports season, Grade 8 graduations and end-of-year field trips. Union leaders are being pressurized to reach an agreement as public sentiment turned against teachers and Ontario families considered moving their children to the Catholic and private-school systems, where teachers’ protests have not disrupted extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports teams.

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