Education Minister Creates a Poisoned Environment for Negotiations

    TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - Elementary teachers are outraged that the
Minister of Education has chosen to publicly discuss the details of her offer
that she presented to elementary teachers earlier today.
    "The Minister's decision to air her offer in a public forum without
giving ETFO appropriate time to deliberate has poisoned the environment for
negotiations," said Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
president David Clegg. "If her professed desire is to create peace and
stability, this approach won't achieve it."
    Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne convened a meeting at noon today
between ETFO and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA), during
which she presented an offer to frame local contract negotiations. She
indicated that the deadline for acceptance of the offer by both ETFO and OBSPA
was 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12.
    "Regardless of the outcome, this Minister's process is offensive to
elementary teachers. Elementary teachers have been asking that elementary
students be treated with fairness and elementary teachers with respect. The
current offer and the way it is presented does neither," said Clegg.
    "Since provincial discussions began, Minister Wynne has consistently
poisoned negotiations by setting arbitrary deadlines and publicly threatening
to limit salary increases and withhold resources from students if teachers did
not accept a provincial agreement.
    "It seems hard to believe that the Minister does not realize that her
proposal creates 1,500 fewer jobs than the ETFO proposal that also involves a
10.4 percent salary increase," Clegg said.

    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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