Liberals strike ‘historic’ wage-freeze deal with Catholic teachers
The governing Liberals have reached a tentative two-year agreement with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association that includes a wage freeze.
The deal between the province and the union, which represents 43,000 teachers, was signed Thursday morning after talks went around the clock the previous day.
It’s the first teachers’ group to break ranks with other unions, who have refused to negotiate after they were told their wages would be frozen.
“This is a historic and transformational agreement that has been reached between the government and OECTA,” Education Minister Laurel Broten said Thursday. “It tackles the issues that we set out to tackle when we began these provincial discussions”
OECTA president Kevin O’Dwyer said these talks were toughest in his 20 years of bargaining. The deal, which has yet to be ratified, will likely be voted on by union members next week, said O’Dwyer.
The teachers will no longer be allowed to bank sick days, and their allotment of 20 sick days a year is cut to 10, Broten said.
Three unpaid “professional development days” in the second year of the contract will amount to a 1.5-per-cent pay cut. Teachers don’t have to show up for work on those days, Broten said. The government, meanwhile, backed off its demand to freeze the salary grid, which gives increases as teachers gain additional experience. [more]