Hamilton Catholic high school teachers reached a tentative agreement with the school board Tuesday that could head off potential work disruptions if it's ratified.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and its teachers said details of the deal will be released if the agreement is approved once both sides have had a chance to vote.
'It’s an agreement that respects both sides and allows us to continue with delivery of programs before, during and after school.' —Sergio Cacoilo, teachers's union president
The agreement affects approximately 670 secondary teachers and about 30,000 students.
"It’s an agreement that respects both sides and allows us to continue with delivery of programs before, during and after school," Sergio Cacoilo, president of the teacher’s union in Hamilton, said.
Though both bargaining committees said they were pleased with the deal, it didn’t come without debate, Cacoilo said.
"Don’t get me wrong, we were not singing Kumbaya. There were a few choice words on both sides of the table, but that’s part of negotiations," he said.
Both sides will vote on the agreement, likely next week, according to Patrick Daly, chairman for the school board. He said the negotiations ended around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning but the board committee was pleased and looking forward to the vote.
"Until both groups vote, it won’t be final, but we’re hopeful that it will be," he said.
The tentative agreement doesn’t mean much as far as predicting an end to negotiations for the secular school board, however. Catholic teachers and district school board teachers differed on one of the key contentions: Bill 115.
"We agreed to a pay freeze and we’re okay with that. We’re sympathetic to the province," Cacoilo said.
But district school board teachers were not as willing to accept the freeze, he added. "We’re not challenging Bill 115. They are."