A tentative agreement has been reached between the province and the Educational Workers’ Alliance of Ontario (EWAO), Global News has learned.
The EWAO is composed of several unions representing approximately 6,000 educational workers.
The unions include the Educational Assistants Association, Dufferin-Peel Education Resource Workers’ Association, Halton District Educational Assistants Association, the Association of Professional Student Services Personnel, Service Employees International Union Local 2 and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, a French-language labour organization that works in all of Ontario’s French-language schools.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce is expected to officially announce the deal on Tuesday afternoon at Queen’s Park. While details of the tentative agreement are unclear, government sources say it shows that despite tense negotiations with other larger unions, deals are possible.
Larger unions including the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents approximately 78,000 elementary teachers, and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), which represents approximately 55,000 high school teachers, have yet to reach a deal.
Both unions have escalated job action over the past several weeks. On Tuesday, ETFO began Phase 2 of a work-to-rule campaign, with teachers withdrawing a number of services, including planning future field trips. On Wednesday, OSSTF plans to hold a second one-day strike at some Ontario high schools.
Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath released a statement on Tuesday regarding the OSSTF job action.
“I am calling on Doug Ford to reverse his cuts to education in order to prevent another day of closed schools tomorrow,” the statement read.
“It’s wrong for him to plow ahead with his reckless scheme to cram more kids into classrooms, force high schoolers to take mandatory classes online, rip course options away and take thousands of caring adults out of schools — we know students, parents and education workers don’t want this.”
When reached for comment on the deal, Lecce’s office did not provide a response.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.