Catholic board ratifies new deal for elementary school teachers from Pickering to Oshawa

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Published May 31, 2024 at 9:32 am

Durham Catholic elementary school teachers
Catholic elementary school teachers at the annual general meeting

Durham’s Catholic school board has ratified a new collective agreement struck with the union representing its elementary school teachers.

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) – Durham Elementary represents the board’s permanent elementary teachers.

“We are delighted to have reached a new collective agreement for our elementary teachers,” said Monique Forster, who chairs the Board of Trustees. “Our elementary teachers’ dedication to student well-being and student achievement is integral to the success of all students.”

The tentative deal for the Catholic elementary school teachers was reached in late March, with the agreement ratified at the local school board Wednesday.

“Durham Catholic elementary teachers are grateful to have a collective agreement that will bring certainty for the next couple of years,” said Kelli Somers, President of OECTA Durham Elementary. “With the end of the school year on the horizon, they are focusing their attention on supporting the success of their students and are happy to wrap up the school year on a high note.”

OECTA President René Jansen said in March the negotiations were “long and challenging,” with more than 20 months of bargaining and 58 days at the bargaining table.

“Throughout the process, Catholic teachers made it clear that they would do whatever it takes to stand up for students and publicly funded education,” Jansen said. “Our goal in this round of negotiations – as always – was to reach the best possible deal to better support all students and teachers, to address critical issues identified by Catholic teachers, and improve the learning and working environment that students and teachers need to succeed.”

Issues addressed during negotiations include measures to address increasing violence in schools; improving the resources and supports for student mental health and special education; and ensuring Catholic teachers in elementary and secondary schools receive sufficient preparation and planning time.

Compensation issues were not resolved and will be to Voluntary Binding Interest Arbitration.

The public school board ratified the agreement its with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Teachers bargaining unit earlier this spring.

The new deals will run until 2026.

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