The union representing Ontario’s secondary school teachers has given notice it wants to start negotiating on a new contract, as the province pushes to start the process early too.
Education contracts expire at the end of August, and in years previous, negotiations would have begun in June. Education Minister Lisa Thompson today opened the door for talks to start early, an invitation that was accepted by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. This kicks off what is expected to be a very tumultuous round of negotiations.
Thompson called on other teachers’ unions to follow suit, “Beginning this process as early as possible is critical to protecting student achievement and the interests of Ontario families. Students need to be in class when school starts in September and parents need to be assured this will happen.” Thompson added, “Those federations and unions who continue to delay the bargaining process are acting irresponsibly and causing unnecessary fear and anxiety for parents. They continue to prioritize their own agenda at the cost of student success and sow seeds of division and doubt. “
The provincial government is phasing in larger class sizes, and it introduced a 1.6 billion attrition fund last week, while per pupil spending is dropping by about six million dollars.