Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 30, 2015
Liz Sandals says talks with Ontario teachers will resume
Education Minister Liz Sandals says talks with Ontario’s teachers’ unions will resume following a meeting last week between Premier Kathleen Wynne, union leaders and public school board representatives.
Sandals calls it a very positive meeting and says the unions “are committed” to getting back to the table in August and reaching new contracts before classes begin Sept. 8.
Representatives from four public teacher unions flew to Toronto from Ottawa for a morning to meeting with Wynne and Sandals. All sides described the meeting as generally positive but it wrapped up in less than an hour with no firm dates set for new bargaining sessions.
“It was a cordial discussion,” said Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario President Sam Hammond. He added that “we need to have confirmed dates,” for new talks and said “we have some issues that we need to have taken off the table.”
Paul Elliott, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, said he “didn’t hear anything that’s changed anyone’s opinion or position,” during Friday’s meeting but agrees it was a positive step to hear from the premier.
Sandals also spoke of a positive tone following the 40-minute meeting.
“This wasn’t about negotiating, it was about how we move forward,” she told reporters. “We need to be getting back to the bargaining table during August.”
No talks are currently scheduled for the three largest teachers unions and English-language school boards.
The government has said there is no new money for teacher compensation. That, along with teachers’ demands for limits on class sizes, are among the major sticking point in negotiations. (Source: CBC News)