Elementary School Teachers Accuse School Board Association of Ruining Talks

A deal between Ontario’s elementary teachers, the government and school boards appeared to be close at hand, until tensions again boiled over with the union accusing the boards of bargaining in bad faith.

In a late-day release Wednesday, the Ontario Public School Boards Association said the final sticking points were a proposal for a provincial benefits plan and changes to the 131 days of sick leave teachers are currently entitled to. The release was hopeful in tone, saying after a year without a contract, a deal was close at hand.

But the public release prompted a swift and furious reaction from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. President Sam Hammond and local presidents marched to OPSBA’s Toronto headquarters and lambasted the association for breaking the confidentiality of the negotiating table and bargaining in bad faith.