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2017: ETFO negotiates investments in specialized pedagogy and a priorities fund to recruit more teachers to support early-year special education, Aboriginal students, at-risk students and English learners. Since your collective agreement expires on August 31, 2019, this is a good time to ask what your union has done for you and other ETFO members and what it will do during collective bargaining 2019. All collective agreements in the education sector – including those of ETFO members – expire on 31 August 2019. Teacher and non-teacher salaries and benefits account for 75 per cent of Ontario`s public education budget, so we need to be prepared for the possibility that the government will want to discuss savings at ETFO`s core bargaining tables in 2019. It is in the interest of each ETFO member to read and understand the agreement and to support the local negotiation process. 1928: A standard contract for teachers in public schools. 2016: ETFO wins its challenge to the charter by finding by the court that Bill 115 violated the right of members to meaningful collective bargaining. 1973: After the release of 100,000 teachers, Ontario passed legislation that gave teachers the right to freely negotiate collective agreements and the right to strike. Their local collective agreement is full of rights, rights and protection from arbitrary treatment. As we engage in collective bargaining this year, ETFO will ensure that your professionalism and pricing requirements are met. Whether through collective bargaining, the representation of political interests or the promotion of social justice, ETFO will continue its efforts to establish better schools and an exemplary public education system. Ask what you can do this year if your union asks you to be an important part of this effort.

2005: ETFO negotiates 200 minutes of preparation and cap on-call time in each collective teacher contract. There are only a few employment-related issues here that would be threatened without collective bargaining: ETFO`s strength in influencing positive change comes from the collective strength of our members. Your professionalism, your willingness to stand up for the rights of educators and students, your commitment to your school and community, and your voice in defending the conditions that make Ontario`s education system one of the best in the world are what made the difference. In short, collective bargaining protects your rights as education workers. Read your collective agreement again today. 2015: The CENTRAL ETFO agreement for casual teachers/teachers enshrines the right of teachers to use professional assessments in the assessment and evaluation of pupils. In recent years, ETFO has negotiated substantial improvements in wage and working conditions. Example: in 2017: ETFO negotiates a cap on the size of kindergarten classes and ensures that the size averages for classes 4 to 8 do not exceed 24.5 students in all boards of directors. Whether you are active with the union or not, ETFO is an important part of your professional life.

At a time when 40 per cent of jobs in Ontario live in low-paid and precarious jobs, it is powerful to be part of a progressive union whose record is to defend and improve working conditions, wages and benefits. Your headteachers, superintendents and administrators can be well-meaning people who are committed to helping you work. But good intentions do not replace the negotiated, legally enforceable document that clearly sets out your rights in the workplace. The Ford government has already begun reducing public education as part of its goal of finding four cents for dollar savings in all public services. This would represent a billion dollars of devastating cuts for our schools. Given the current government`s desire to reorganize the program, eliminate funding for school repairs and reduce the size of programs for students without consultation, the next round of negotiations will be a difficult cycle for ETFO members.