The provincial government has struck a deal with Ontario’s high school teachers, making that union the last one to reach a tentative agreement that would extend its current contract by two years and pave the way to labour peace through the next election.
The deal with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, announced Thursday by Education Minister Mitzie Hunter, follows similar agreements reached earlier with six other unions representing elementary teachers, French teachers, English Catholic teachers and education workers.
If ratified, contracts due to expire this August will be extended until 2019, which gives the government a shot at avoiding school labour disruptions in the run-up to the 2018 election.
Deals have been ratified by two of the unions — education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the French teachers’ union L’association des enseignantes and des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO).
Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario vote on their agreement next week, which reportedly includes an agreement to cap full-day kindergarten classes at 30 and provides a 4-per-cent raise over two years.
The province began making overtures to the unions last fall regarding contract extensions, but talks with OSSTF broke off in November and didn’t resume until this week. Terms of the tentative agreement have not been released.
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