No class disruptions as Ont. elementary teachers talks go on, province says

Ontario elementary students starting their school year on Tuesday will not experience any disruption while labour negotiations continue with the province, according to a statement issued late Friday from the office of Education Minister Liz Sandals.
The approximately 300 Catholic elementary school teachers in Thunder Bay will vote Thursday evening (Feb 16,2017) on their tentative deal. (Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty)

Ontario elementary students starting their school year on Tuesday will not experience any disruption while labour negotiations continue with the province, according to a statement issued late Friday from the office of Education Minister Liz Sandals.

The Ontario government says negotiations with the province's Elementary Teachers Federation have gone well so far and that students will not experience any disruption when schools open on Tuesday.

The province's bargaining agent, the Liberal government and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario "have engaged in positive and productive discussions throughout the week," said the press release issued Friday evening..

"Although a deal has not yet been reached, progress has been made with the assistance of the mediator who has confirmed that the parties will resume face to face discussions on Tuesday," it said.

Teachers with ETFO, which represents some 76,000 members, have been in a legal strike position since May 10. Provincial negotiations broke down a day later.

There are four key sticking points for ETFO in the provincial talks including wages, class size, preparation time and hiring practices.

The province recently reached agreements with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association.

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