(OSSTF Media Release) – The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) has reached tentative agreements with the government and the province’s school boards associations at both the teacher/occasional teacher and education worker central bargaining tables.
OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof has released the following statement:
“These are extraordinary times. When we began negotiations nearly a year ago, no one could have anticipated the situation we face today.
“Our main priority has been to protect the education system by reaching a deal that respects our members and ensures students get the best education possible. We thank our members for their support, solidarity, and sacrifice during these many months of negotiations. Our union remains stronger and more united because of their demonstrated commitment on the front lines across this province.
“With the support of the public and our members, we mounted a strong public awareness campaign that highlighted the government’s dangerous approach to education. As a result of our combined efforts, this government, although early in its term and holding a majority, was pushed back from some of its most egregious proposals.
“While this tentative agreement does not satisfy all of our concerns, we recognize the current environment we are in and the need for students to have stability once this emergency is over.
“Even now, educators continue to do their best for students during this crisis and look forward to welcoming them back to the face-to-face support we know is best for most students.
“We will continue our advocacy to protect the world-class education system that we have been instrumental in creating. Our members and our students deserve that never-ending effort.”
OSSTF/FEESO’s local leaders from across the province will meet via teleconference in the coming days to review the tentative agreements and determine, according to the union’s established processes, whether or not to forward them to the membership for a ratification vote. Member ratification votes are tentatively planned for May.