Renewal agreements negotiated by ETFO and ratified by ETFO members in early March were the catalyst for many of the improvements mentioned in the government`s April 12 announcement. These improvements include small-scale funding in the full-time nursery (KDF), closing the average gaps in class 4-8 and hiring more permanent teachers to support special education students, special life-age education, Aboriginal students, “vulnerable” students and English learners. Contract renewal talks were held as part of discussions with education unions on a court ruling that the government was violating its collective rights. “Of course, I don`t think it was ever considered or presented to me until 15 months later, there would still be units without a collective agreement,” he said. ETFO says that if ratified, the renewal of the contract will improve the working conditions of its members and the learning conditions of students. There are still five local arrangements out of 471 that have not yet been concluded. The Elementary Unit of the Ontario Teachers` Association is one of five and will begin rotating strikes – while the OECD has agreed to extend its central contract until 2019. Since the implementation of the School Board`s Collective Agreements Act in April 2014, ETFO has negotiated central agreements on behalf of its teachers/teachers and education workers: education funding for the next school year has been set by nine agreements between the government and education sector unions. In January-February 2017, ETFO negotiated with the Ontario Public School Boards` Association (OPSBA) and the Board of Trustee Associations (CTA) and the Crown to extend the 2014-2017 bargaining agreements and ETFO Teacher, Dece, ESP and PSP. Renewal agreements for 2017 for casual teachers and teaching workers were ratified by members and local residents on March 4, 2017. Education Minister Mitzie Hunter says the government is in contact with the Ontario High School Teachers` Federation for a contract extension, but there is no date for formal talks at this time.
The latter group also announced a strike that is due to start on Sunday. On April 12, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced that education funding for the 2017-18 school year would increase by nearly four per cent to $23.8 billion. The agreements were then ratified by ETFO members on 28 April 2020. . The improvements contained in EtFO`s renewal agreements are attracting media attention. The Toronto Star reports that: Elementary teachers and Ontario education workers have agreed to extend their contracts by two years, so the Liberal government is almost free of teacher negotiations before the next election. According to the plan, which was discussed with elementary teachers, full-day kindergartens should be limited to 30 students next year and 29 the following year – with an average of no more than 26 children per class in each class by 2018-19. [and] headteachers must have average sizes of 24.5 students or less in classes 4 to 8. On March 20, 2020, ETFO reached an interim central agreement with the Ontario Public Schools Association (OPSBA) and the Crown (i.e., the Ontario government), as well as an interim central agreement between teachers with the Trustes` Associations Council (CTA) and the Crown.