Ontario government, secondary school teachers reach agreement to continue process to avoid new strike
The Ontario Government and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced Friday that they will enter into a process in their bargaining talks that will keep students in school and avoid a potential strike by the union.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Friday afternoon that the government has reached a “tentative agreement” with OSSTF to continue bargaining into the fall, avoiding the threat of a strike by the province’s secondary school teachers.
Stability for students.
Certainty for parents.
We are working hard to keep kids in class.
— Stephen Lecce (@Sflecce) August 25, 2023
The four-year agreement provides for bargaining to continue without the threat of strikes, the Ministry of Education said in a news release. If an agreement can’t be reached by Oct. 27, 2023, the parties will enter binding arbitration to resolve their remaining issues, the release said.
While Lecce said the parties had reached a “tentative agreement” OSSTF particularly said in a separate release that it was not the case. “The proposal is not a tentative agreement but establishes a clear pathway forward for this round of bargaining,” OSSTF said.
Today, #OSSTF leadership voted overwhelmingly to recommend that Members enter into a proposal to resolve bargaining with the govt through a process that could include arbitration. This not a tentative agreement but clears a pathway forward for this round of bargaining. #OntEd pic.twitter.com/dkTMqkzsvC
— OSSTF Communications (@osstf) August 25, 2023
“OSSTF will now prepare for a membership vote that will take place through September,” the union’s release said, adding that the proposal also includes a remedy for educators’ wages.
The news comes after both the OSSTF, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association said earlier this month that it would be holding strike votes this fall.