The premier wants to stress the importance of reaching labour agreements between teachers and the boards before the school year starts in the fall.
Education Minister Liz Sandals says talks with Ontario’s teachers’ unions will resume following a meeting Friday between Premier Kathleen Wynne, union leaders and public school board representatives.
The union leaders said it was an interesting conversation, but they still have some major issues to deal with, especially around working conditions and class sizes.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Wynne alleged that all involved in the process have a responsibility to get back to the bargaining table.
Before the school year ended in June, public elementary school teachers implemented a work-to-rule protest, refusing to fill out report cards or participate in other duties.
An exact date has yet to be set for the expected resumption of contract talks. “We still have to deal with the school boards and I think they are going to be the issue through all of this”, Elliott told reporters.
“Let’s face it, six weeks is a considerable length of time”, she said.
The government has said there is no new money for teacher compensation.
“I think that’s absolutely a mutual understanding all around that it is quite urgent”.
The head of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, (ETFO) Sam Hammond said the discussions were positive.
“But right now I have not heard anything that changes anybody’s opinion, anybody’s position”, he said.
“We need to be getting back to the bargaining table during August”.
Sandals called it a very positive meeting and said the unions “are committed” to getting back to the table in August and reaching new contracts before classes begin on September 8.
OECTA has released a list of activities, teachers will not engage in without a new contract, such as supervising extracurricular activities and taking part in parent-teacher meetings, but Hawkins said nothing has been decided.