TORONTO — On Friday, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement:
“My ongoing commitment to Ontario families is to use every available tool and pursue every path that keeps students in school. Doing so will mean students are in classrooms learning what matters most: reading, writing and math skills.
I am very pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative four-year agreement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) on a process that, if ratified by the union’s members, will keep students in class where they belong.
If this agreement is ratified, a student who entered grade nine in an English public high school last September will have their entire high school experience free from the threat of teacher strikes. That’s something all of us can celebrate.
The tentative agreement provides for bargaining to continue without the threat of strikes. If a collective agreement cannot be reached by October 27, 2023, the parties will enter binding interest arbitration to resolve any outstanding issues.
Through this process, a neutral third-party, will make binding decisions on all outstanding matters.
To ensure stability across the entire education system, we are inviting all outstanding teacher unions to meet with the government as early as Monday to also enter into a tentative deal ahead of the start of school. Let’s get these deals done and let kids get back to learning in peace and with confidence.”
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) represents more than 60,000 members in Ontario’s English public secondary schools.
- OSSTF is the first teacher federation that has agreed to not strike while labour negotiations continue. The proposed process will also include education workers that are members of OSSTF.
- The voluntary interest arbitration process will apply to both central and locally negotiated matters.
- Central collective agreements with the teachers and education workers unions expired August 31, 2022.
- Since then, Ontario has successfully concluded new central agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees education workers and the Ontario Council of Educational Workers.
- Nearly 2,000 additional front-line educators are expected to be hired in 2023-24 through new investments, helping to bring overall education funding to the highest levels in Ontario history.
- Education funding for 2023-24 includes an increase of $693 million in base Grants for Student Needs funding compared to the prior year, or a 2.7 per cent increase.
SOURCE Province of Ontario