Loading articles...

Ontario, OSSTF reach tentative deal

Last Updated May 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm EDT

The Ontario government has reached an agreement in principle with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).

In a statement released Sunday, Minister of Education Liz Sandals said the two sides have been able to resolve issues including sick leave, maternity leave, retirement gratuity, unpaid days, and local bargaining.

Specific details of the agreement cannot be released due to a media blackout agreed on by both sides; however, Sandals said she is pleased with the discussions between both sides over the last few weeks.

“We have been having positive, collaborative discussions with our education partners,” she said. “Those discussions have been critical to rebuilding important relationships inside and outside of our schools and have already delivered results for students, parents, teachers and support staff, with the gradual return of extra-curricular activities at both elementary and secondary schools.”

The agreement will be shared with OSSTF members over the next few days before it is voted upon.

“I am pleased that we have come to an agreement in principle with OSSTF that is focused on the fair and consistent application of the existing collective agreements, while reflecting the ministry’s fiscal situation,” Sandals said in the statement.

Last month, the OSSTF recommended its members resume extracurricular activities.

Four education unions, including the OSSTF, launched legal action against Bill 115 last fall. The legislation that passed in September allowed the provincial government to impose a two-year contract on teachers. The labour groups said the bill violated their right to collective bargaining. Teachers held rotating one-day strikes and suspended running after-school clubs and coaching sports in protest.

With files from Shawne McKeown