Loading articles...

Ontario elementary teachers to return to bargaining table on Wednesday

Last Updated Mar 9, 2020 at 2:59 pm EDT

Ontario’s elementary teachers are set to resume contract talks with the government on Wednesday.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario announced its next phase of strike action Monday afternoon.

Minutes before the start of that news conference, the government confirmed it is returning to the bargaining table with ETFO on Wednesday.

In previous talks earlier this year, ETFO said it was close to an agreement on several key issues, but that the government negotiators changed positions at the last minute.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce made concessions on two major issues last week, though largely affecting secondary teachers, and has said the ball is now in the unions’ courts.

He offered to increase average high school class sizes from 22 last year to 23 next year — instead of the government’s original target of 28 — and allow an opt-out for e-learning courses the Tories previously said would be mandatory.

ETFO says the government has missed “a real opportunity” over the last two weeks to return to the bargaining table.

ETFO also says if the talks are unsuccessful, strike action will resume on the Monday following March Break.