Ottawa's public school board says it has reached a tentative agreement with the bargaining unit representing the city's public high school teachers.
The deal between the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation bargaining unit representing secondary school teachers must still be sent to the Minister of Education and must be ratified by union members.
But if approved, it will avert a potential walkout by the teachers, who are in a legal strike position.
There are six other OSSTF bargaining units — representing other support staff at schools — who must reach similar deals. Five of those units are still in a legal strike position.
OSSTF District 25 President Dan Maxwell said in a statement he believes members will be satisfied with the agreement.
Neither side would reveal details of the agreement until after it was approved.
The tentative agreement puts an end to strike actions relating to work teachers do under their collective agreement, said OCDSB director of education Jennifer Adams.
Deal doesn't impact voluntary activities
But it doesn't mean teachers will be resuming voluntary activities such as participating with sports teams or school clubs.
Adams said the board sees the agreement as an important "first step" in resolving labour disruptions that began after the passage of Bill 115.
"Participation in extra curricular activities on the part of teachers and our staff has always been voluntary and will continue to be so," said Adams.
"We hope that the tentative agreement has been established that teachers and eventually other staff will choose to come back," she said.
Maxwell said the decision of some teachers to step away from voluntary activities never came up in negotiations that led to the tentative agreement and said it remains up to the teachers to decide what is best for them. He said he is unsurprised by Adams' optimism but would not comment on whether it would happen.
"I am sure she is hopeful that people will return to what they used to do," said Maxwell.
Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, imposed wage freezes and curbed the ability of teachers to strike.