Remember how the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) kept telling the public that their contract battle with the province was “all about the children”, that they were fighting the Liberal Government over issues their students, and that none of it had to do with pay or benefits?
Ya, about that.
ETFO President Sam Hammond’s head exploded Wednesday when the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) issued a press release yesterday that claimed major progress had been made in talks between the union, the association, and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
The only two major issues that are still being debated are Sick Leave and Benefits.
The OPSBA revealed that agreements have been reached on class size, teacher supervision time, preparation time, salary increases, hiring practices, and an extra PA day.
But Hammond claims that the information in the report is inaccurate, and feels that he can’t trust the OPSBA anymore.
“It is shameful what they have done here,” Hammond said. “They have done a blatant end run on the collective bargaining process by pulling this media stunt. It is without question bad faith bargaining — I have never in the 30 years I’ve been doing this seen anyone who pulls this kind of stunt in the middle of bargaining.”
The ETFO has hinted that they may strike over this!
If the teachers are fighting only for the children, and have allegedly come to an agreement on the major issues concerning those children, why are they still fighting over sick leave and benefits?
Shouldn’t the public, who pay the salaries of everybody involved in these negotiations, be made aware of how contract talks are progressing? Don’t we have a right to know every detail of a contract before it’s finalized?