Catholic Teachers Union Signs Two Year Agreement
Queen’s Park: It’s not expected to make any appreciable changes in Ontario’s dire debt and deficit situation, but Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding for a two-year agreement that holds the line on their runaway remunerations.
The McGuinty government claims a saving of $250 million in 2012-13, growing to $540 million in the second year, when the agreement is applied across the entire sector. In addition, the province would achieve one-time savings of $1.4 billion.
The agreement includes:
· Zero per cent salary increases in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
· All teachers will take a 1.5 per cent pay cut in the form of three unpaid professional development days so that younger teachers will continue to be recognized through the grid for their experience and additional qualifications.
· Agreement to restructure the grid with a view to long-term, sustainable savings.
· Elimination of the current retirement gratuity for payment of unused sick days that was responsible for a $1.7-billion liability for school boards.
· A restructured short-term sick leave plan that would include up to 10 sick days.
· The sick leave plan would benefit younger teachers by providing income protection for serious illness and improved maternity leave provisions.
· Agreement to address non-monetary issues including the development of a fair and transparent hiring process for long-term occasional teachers.
This agreement will serve as a roadmap for local bargaining over the summer months and all other teacher and staff unions, and the trustee associations are encouraged to meet to discuss this understanding so that additional agreements can be reached.
“We have made a deliberate choice in this process — a choice to protect the gains we have made in education and to work with our partners, as we’ve done for the past four months. These were never going to be easy discussions, but I’m pleased that after months of difficult talks, we were able to reach an agreement with OECTA. It’s an example of how teachers can successfully enter into such discussions with government that result in solutions that both protect student achievement and help us meet our fiscal targets,” said Laurel Broten, Minister of Education.
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