Thursday evening, representatives from Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) and the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) District 8 Teachers reached a tentative collective agreement. The details of the agreement must be kept confidential until both parties ratify
the agreement. Ratification meetings and votes are anticipated to be held in January or February.
The parties had met for negotiations on 14 days, dating back to June 2020. Negotiations began in a virtual format due to strict pandemic guidelines, but recently had moved to socially distanced face-to-face meetings using appropriate protocols.
“Negotiations were challenging; not necessarily because there were a lot of contentious issues, but rather the environment that we worked under – both virtual and face-to-face, all under strict health guidelines over the last six months,” stated local OSSTF President Shane Restall.
The tentative agreement brings all secondary teachers working for AMDSB – contract teachers, continuing education teachers and occasional teachers – together into one document. Previously, local OSSTF occasional teachers had their own agreement. “We are thrilled to have reached a tentative agreement and bringing the secondary, contract, continuing education and occasional teachers under one agreement has been a welcome change.
We look forward to the ratification process and appreciate the union’s flexibility as we navigated COVID-19 protocols,” said Paul Langis, AMDSB Superintendent of Human Resource Services. The tentative agreement, if ratified, would complete the two-pronged contract talks for local secondary teachers under the School Board Collective Bargaining Act. The central portion of the agreement was ratified by OSSTF, the Provincial Government and the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) in May 2020 after widespread political and labour unrest in the Ontario education sector during late 2019 and early 2020.
There are approximately 430 secondary teachers, occasional teachers and continuing education teachers working for AMDSB represented by OSSTF District 8 who have been without a contract since August 2019.