No deal as deadline passes for Ontario elementary teachers
Main issue funding gap for students, not wages.
December 6, 2008 — Hopes that Ontario's 73,000 public elementary teachers would accept the same four-year framework agreement as the rest of the province's instructors were dashed Saturday when an extended deadline passed without a deal, leaving a much smaller contract offer from school boards on the table.
Minutes before a midnight deadline last Sunday, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario returned to bargaining to avoid seeing a four-year, 12.55 percent wage offer reduced to a two-year, four percent package, and it was granted a five-day extension to accept the deal.
A "bitterly disappointed" union president David Clegg said Saturday that the Public School Boards Association pulled the plug on the talks when the new midnight-Friday deadline passed without an agreement.
Clegg said the main issue for the teachers had always been a $711-per-student funding gap between elementary and high schools in Ontario — not salaries — and expressed frustration the union's last offer was rejected.
"We offered to take a zero percent salary increase in the fourth year, so those tens of millions of dollars could be used to hire 1,500 teachers across the province," Clegg said in an interview.
"We did that thinking it was in the best interest of students — it was certainly in the best interest of the economy — and the school boards flatly refused to contemplate that.". . .
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No deal as deadline passes for Ontario elementary teachers , by CBC.ca, December 6 2008
Posted: December 07, 2008
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