Contract talks break down between ETFO and Ontario government


A renewed round of contract talks between Ontario elementary teachers and the government broke down tonight with no deal, meaning their strikes will escalate next week.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario and the province had not bargained since December 19th.

But after the mediator called the parties back to the table this week they spent three long days in negotiations.

Union president Sam Hammond says every effort was made, but it became clear the Ford government was not willing to address key issues.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government affirmed its commitment to maintaining full-day kindergarten, but pay and benefits remain a top priority for union leaders.

Unions want a wage increases of around two per cent, but the government passed legislation last year capping wage increases for all public sector workers to one per cent for three years.

The school boards to be hit by elementary strikes on Monday include: Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior-Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands.

A provincewide strike by the federation is set for Thursday.