Kitchener-Waterloo

Tentative ETFO deal means extracurriculars return to Waterloo Region schools

Parents and students in Waterloo Region can look forward to the return of extracurricular activities now that the province has reached a tentative agreement with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

Progress reports to go out, extracurriculars to resume in Waterloo Region public elementary schools

Try to keep your emotions in check until your kids are on the bus, advises Kathy Jones. (Shutterstock)

Parents and students in Waterloo Region can look forward to the return of extracurricular activities now that the province has reached a tentative agreement with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"We are absolutely thrilled that the provincial ETFO has reached a tentative agreement," said Marty Deacon, superintendent of engagement and communications with the Waterloo Region District School board. "What has to happen now is that goes to their members and the members will have to ratify and vote for that." 

"The other piece that came out from our ministry yesterday was that sanctions, the extracurriculars, those kinds of things would be lifted, effective immediately," said Deacon. "At this point in time we are looking at trying to start to get back on track but recognizing that until the agreement is ratified we have to proceed slowly."

ETFO advised members to suspend a work-to-rule campaign that began in May, which saw teachers refuse to put comments on report cards and supervise extracurricular activities. The deal still needs to be ratified by union members provincially.

The next step is that local ETFO chapters will bargain with local school boards. Deacon said she couldn't speculate on the issues that the local union will face in negotiations here. 

"We don't know what might be the obstacles or the big tickets," she said. 

Progress reports likely to return

Families will also likely see progress reports this semester. The progress reports are intended to give parents an idea of their child's development at school, but the reports don't include grades or marks. 

Deacon said that the school board is currently meeting to discuss how to get the reports out. 

"There's an end date in December when they need to be out by, and so we're hoping, we postponed them a week ago based on the information we had, and we're hoping to get those reports out before the end date."

Deacon said that date is Dec. 11. 

"Certainly speaking with parents, we're really, really happy that the tentative agreement has been reached," said Deacon, who added they're now just hoping the OSSTF support workers reach a deal with the province soon.

OSSTF support workers include secretaries, cleaning staff, and information technology and administration support at the school board office. 

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