ETFO Agrees to Mediated Talks With the Province

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The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Government will meet with a mediator on Wednesday.

Mediator, Denise Small, reached out on Tuesday to both ETFO and the negotiating parties for the Ontario government and school boards to resume negotiations.

In a release, ETFO says it is "willing and committed to moving forward to resolve this ongoing labour dispute," however, the union’s President, Sam Hammond, is adamant that, “open exploratory talks with the Ford government’s negotiators must include a mandate to remove further cuts, increase supports for students with special needs, preserve the current Kindergarten model with a teacher and designated early childhood educator, and maintain fair and transparent hiring practices.”

The release also states that the teacher's union is optimistic that the government’s representatives will engage in meaningful bargaining around key issues.

“It’s time that the Ford government recognized that our public education system is key to the future of this province’s economy," Hammond added. "We must have the tools and supports to prepare students to realize their individual aspirations and productively contribute to the economic and social fabric of this province.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

A one-day strike will take place on Wednesday at four school boards in Ontario including the Greater Essex County District School Board.

The union representing Catholic teachers, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), has announced a one-day province wide strike set for Tuesday, February 4, 2020.