Ottawa teacher, education worker unions without deals as school begins
English elementary school teachers, French teachers and support staff working on new contracts
On Sept. 3, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) began the second phase of its work-to-rule campaign. It will see teachers refrain from taking part in any fundraising activities or planning any field trips.
The elementary school teachers are not to distribute to students any paperwork required by the school or board, or take part in "Meet the Teacher" nights outside the school day.
- Ontario elementary teachers' union lays out extended work-to-rule action
- No class disruptions as Ont. elementary teachers talks go on, province says
- CUPE education workers to begin job action September 10
They are in addition to a first phase of job actions, which took effect May 11. That list includes elementary school teachers not taking part in provincial testing or writing comments on report cards.
"Any time I hear negotiations are going a number of days in a row you're always hopeful that progress is being made," said Giuliani, who is not privy to what is taking place at the bargaining table.
The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens has negotiations with the province scheduled for Sept. 9 and 10.
Its members voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike in June but are not currently taking any job action.
Support staff feels overlooked
The Canadian Union of Public Employees says Ontario is giving teachers unions more attention than its members, which include early childhood educators, educational assistants, speech pathologists, office administrators, custodians, technicians, and others.
"We really see it as a lack of respect not to appreciate the work that we do in schools."
"We have completely different issues," said Harrison, citing average salaries that are far lower than those of teachers.
CUPE has talks planned with the province Sept. 10 and 11, according to Harrison.
Sandals added that she's pleased to have reached central tentative agreements with Ontario's Catholic teachers and English public high school teachers in August.
She says those tentative agreements are "consistent with the government's net-zero bargaining framework," in which all wage increases must be at least offset by savings.