Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario flag in Sarnia. 10 February 2020. (Blackburn Media Photo.Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario flag in Sarnia. 10 February 2020. (Blackburn Media Photo.

Ratification vote scheduled for tentative ETFO deal

A ratification vote for Ontario's 80,000 teachers and occasional public elementary teachers will begin on Monday, December 11.

Members represented by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) reached a tentative contract agreement with the province last week.

Officials told Blackburn Media that online voting will start at 9 a.m., following a telephone town-hall information meeting, and will end at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 15.

Lambton Kent ETFO President Tracie Booth said there are over 800 faculty members impacted locally.

"After being without a central agreement for more than 14 months, our teachers and occasional teacher members are looking forward to learning the details of the tentative agreement," said Booth. "ETFO was focused on getting government cuts off the table and on improving members' working conditions and students' learning conditions."

Booth said the details of the tentative deal are not being made public at this time.

She said central bargaining is only one part of the two-tiered bargaining process.

"Local agreements must also be negotiated and ratified before collective agreements are in place for the local ETFO teacher members," she said. "So, the Lambton-Kent ETFO bargaining team is working hard to reach a tentative agreement with the Lambton Kent District School Board that meets our members' needs."

Some outstanding issues between the province and ETFO will be going to binding arbitration.

Meanwhile, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce previously encouraged the remaining teacher's unions, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens to reach similar agreements.

"We have demonstrated that we have a frame that works. For any outstanding issues we cannot agree on we'll go to binding interest arbitration so I am urging them to move quicker so we can provide certainty to their members and to all children in Ontario because we believe as a government, firmly, that kids need to be in school," said Lecce.

OECTA said Friday that it was filing for conciliation while it continues to bargain with the Ontario government.

In September, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation agreed to binding arbitration.

Read More Local Stories