Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario's English Catholic Teachers Union, Province Reach Tentative Agreement

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario's English Catholic Teachers Union, Province Reach Tentative Agreement

Article excerpt

English Catholic teachers reach contract

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TORONTO - Details of a tentative agreement reached Tuesday between the Ontario's English Catholic Teachers Association and school boards were not made public, but Education Minister Liz Sandals suggested it includes pay raises.

The deal with English Catholic teachers follows last week's tentative agreement with high school teachers, but the province still needs agreements with elementary and Francophone teachers as well as with other education workers and support staff.

"Both tentative agreements are net zero agreements," said Sandals. "What that means is that any salary increases are offset in other areas within the collective agreement."

Sandals refused to say exactly where the savings would come from.

The Liberal government insisted it would not fund salary increases for teachers or any public sector workers until it eliminates an $11.9 billion deficit, which it is scheduled to do in 2017-18.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of a briefing on last week's deal with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, which calls for a one per cent lump sum payment followed by raises of 1.5 per cent plus another paid professional day.

The unions all stay in touch with each other throughout the negotiations, said Sandals.

"As you can anticipate, once unions think somebody got a pay raise, they like to have a pay raise too," she said.

Sandals said the government did not cave in to teachers' demands, and insisted the Liberals never asked school boards to raise the limit on class sizes.

"What I want to make absolutely clear is that we have not changed class size in either agreement," she said.

The English Catholic teachers agreed to suspend a work-to-rule campaign while its members prepare to vote on Tuesday's tentative agreement. The union had begun to work-to-rule at Bishop Belleau high school in Moosonee, where classes started weeks earlier than most schools, but that job action was suspended immediately. …

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