N.B. teachers ratify five-year agreement with province

The New Brunswick Teachers' Federation has ratified a five-year agreement with the provincial government.

Premier Brian Gallant unveiled details of the agreement Friday afternoon, and was joined by federation co-presidents Marc Arseneau and Guy Arseneault.

As part of the agreement, the province has agreed to add 250 school-based teachers to support classroom teachers and work with students, particularly in classrooms with composition challenges.

The agreement also includes a research project initiative that will see some kindergarten and Grade 2 students at 17 schools receive an extra hour of instructional time per day.

"This time, along with additional resources, will be used to provide greater opportunities for students to reach the expected learning outcomes with a focus on literacy, numeracy, physical education, art and music," the province said in a news release.

The joint initiative between the province and the federation will run for three years, and will be evaluated by independent experts.

The collective agreement – which applies to nearly 8,000 teachers, supply teachers, vice-principals and principals – also includes annual wage increases of one per cent.

Officials said the last agreement expired on Feb. 29, 2016.