Jun 16, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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Ontario’s elementary teachers and their school boards are staring at a deepening abyss between them – after the boards put a $3.2-billion figure on the teacher’s  contract demands today.

And that has the the teacher’s union screaming – that announcement is just a deflection tactic over report cards.

At the start of negotiations both sides signed ground rules – preventing them from discussing bargaining details in public.

But now that there’s an ad campaign and there’ve been statements in the media by the teachers’ union – the school boards say they are speaking out – so parents and students can hear the facts.

The teachers have said the disputes are not about money – But the boards said today that the teacher  initial monetary position is over $3.2 billion – including a three-per-cent wage increase each year for three years – plus a cost-of-living allowance.

ETFO president Sam Hammond fired back – saying his union hasn’t formally tabled any salary positions at the central bargaining table.

Elementary teachers have been on an administrative strike since last month and have threatened to accelerate it for the next school year – if no progress is made in bargaining over the summer.

The situation has heated up in recent weeks over report cards. Teachers are transmitting marks to principals, but the school boards say it’s being left to principals to input the marks – which some say is too gigantic a task – so some school boards say they cannot send report cards home this year.

Among their requests, ETFO has called on the boards to withdraw their demands about bigger class sizes and teacher preparation time.

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