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Elementary strike could be averted as teachers set to bargain

Last Updated Aug 14, 2015 at 12:54 pm EDT

It’s not a deal, but there is hope for parents of public elementary school students.

A possible job action this fall could be averted as the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents 76,000 teachers, returns to the bargaining table on Sept. 1.

The union has been in a legal strike position since May 10.

At issue for ETFO are class sizes, wages, hiring practices and prep times.

Meanwhile, negotiations will start next week with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

Talks resumed this week between the province and Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) but, according to OECTA, two days of discussion failed to produce an agreement. Further talks are scheduled for Aug. 20, 21, 24 and 25.

Members of OECTA, which represents Catholic elementary and high school teachers, have been without a contract for more than a year, and will be in a legal strike position on Aug. 17. OECTA also said its members will begin work-to-rule action on their first paid day of work, which begins next week for teachers in some northern regions.

All the province’s teachers’ unions say without a new deal, there will be some sort of labour action come September.

The contracts for all Ontario teachers expired last August.

Classes are set to start on Sept. 8.

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