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All eyes on Ontario teachers’ unions as some set for bargaining, others plan more strikes

This week could be a key one in the ongoing and contentious contract talks between Ontario teachers and the government.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the ball is now in the unions’ courts, after he made concessions on two contentious issues.

He offered to increase average high school class sizes from 22 last year to 23 next year — instead of the government’s original target of 28 — and allow an opt-out for e-learning courses the Tories previously said would be mandatory.

Two unions — representing high school teachers and educators in the French system — have now suspended strikes for the next few weeks, though the high school teachers say their move is because of March Break.

There may be signs of progress in negotiations with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, as they were at the bargaining table with the government for three days last week and are set to resume talks today.

But the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says it will announce its next phase of strike action today.

CBC

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