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Elementary teachers close to deal with province, union says

ETFO president Sam Hammond speaks at a news conference in Toronto on April 3, 2013. CITYNEWS

The union representing Ontario’s elementary school teachers says it’s close to a deal with the province.

“[We] are pleased to report that while the details have yet to be finalized, understandings have been reached in areas critical to our 76,000 members,” Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) president Sam Hammond said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Hammond said his union and the government met in Toronto earlier in the day and agreed on issues including maternity and sick leave, payment for unused sick days and job security — without any new money from the province.

“Based on the success and advancement in our meetings to date as well as the goodwill demonstrated by the government throughout these discussions, we are confident that ongoing dialogue will result in some point in a full agreement being reached,” Hammond said.

Last week, the union stopped advising its teachers to boycott extracurricular activities — a protest against Bill 115, which imposed contracts on its members.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation reached a tentative agreement with the government last weekend.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made in our discussions with ETFO,” Education Minister Liz Sandals said in a statement.

“I am confident that with the trust and understanding we have built over the past number of weeks, we will be able to come to a resolution that will see stability in our schools for the duration of this contract.”

Click here for more details on the ETFO talks.