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Elementary teachers’ union ready to start bargaining




a man wearing a suit and tie: Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, said he expects the next round of bargaining will be “extremely challenging.”


© Jim Rankin
Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, said he expects the next round of bargaining will be “extremely challenging.”

The union representing Ontario’s elementary teachers has filed notice to start bargaining — and it’s warning negotiations will be “extremely challenging.”

On Monday, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) president Sam Hammond said the union had sent letters to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association and the government, saying it is ready to negotiate. Collective agreements expire Aug. 31

The notice was provided for all bargaining units: teacher, occasional teacher, designated early childhood educator, education support personnel and professional support personnel. By law, the parties must meet within 15 days, or a mutually agreed upon time, to start discussing what issues will be negotiated at central bargaining tables. Only after that is determined can local bargaining begin.

“For the past year, ETFO has been preparing for this round of bargaining,” said Hammond in a video statement to its 83,000 members, which include teachers and education professionals who work in the province’s public elementary schools. “ETFO is committed to negotiating in good faith and we expect good faith bargaining from those who will be sitting across from us … Even so, we know negotiations this year are going to be extremely challenging.”

He went on to applaud members for “standing up against the significant cuts to public education that are being unilaterally imposed by the current government.”

Isabel Teotonio is a Toronto-based reporter covering education. Follow her on Twitter: @Izzy74



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