Elementary Teachers Set Critical Deadline for Contract Negotiations



    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - The time has come for Ontario school boards to
constructively respond to elementary public school teachers' concerns or face
strong and committed labour action.
    Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President David Clegg
today demanded that local school boards table their full submissions to ETFO
negotiators by the end of January so that "meaningful discussions" can begin.
    "If the boards take the same position as their provincial counterparts
and include strips to the existing rights of elementary teachers, the
Federation will have no option but to initiate strike votes, which will be the
precursor to job actions," said Clegg.
    Clegg noted that since four-year collective agreements for all Ontario
elementary public school teachers expired on August 31, 2008, there has been
little progress in finalizing new contracts.
    "Local school boards have not been fully engaged at the bargaining
tables," said Clegg. "They have been stalling because they have been waiting
for a provincial agreement. Now that a provincial agreement is off the table,
we will not accept any more foot dragging by the boards. Meaningful and
constructive contract negotiations must take place at the local level.
    "Today, we are putting the boards on notice," Clegg said. "We will no
longer accept their excuses that they cannot provide better learning
conditions for elementary students and fairer working conditions for their
teachers."

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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