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Ontario elementary and high school support workers reach deal with province

School support staff with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have reached tentative deals with the province.

OSSTF and ETFO represent some 17,400 workers across the province

School support staff fill a variety of roles, many of which involve school maintenance. (File photo/CBC)

School support staff with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have reached tentative deals with the province.

A source with OSSTF as well as a memo from the public French school board association confirmed the news of their agreement this morning — while ETFO released a statement this afternoon.

OSSTF represents some 15,000 support staff who work at high schools with public and Catholic school boards — both French and English — across the province.

The workers fill a variety of roles, many of which involve school maintenance.

ETFO represents 2,400 support staff workers at public and Catholic elementary schools across the province, including early-childhood educators.

Education Minister Liz Sandals said in a news release that she was pleased an agreement had been reached.

"I would like to congratulate all parties for their hard work and collaboration," Sandals said.

Sandals wouldn't comment on the terms of the deal but said it meets the government's "net-zero" bargaining framework, which ensures that any salary increases are offset through the collective agreement.

Sam Hammond, president of ETFO, said in a statement that members will vote on the tentative agreement in the coming weeks.

Details on the tentative agreements are not expected to be made public until the agreements have been ratified.

If approved, the OSSTF agreement would hold until the next set of negotiations in 2017.

CUPE education support workers already reached a deal

Ontario reached a tentative contract agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) earlier this month. That deal ended a work-to-rule campaign by support staff in schools across the province.

CUPE's members include custodial staff, office administrators, early childhood educators, tradespeople, library technicians and speech pathologists. 

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