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Elementary Teacher's Federation Could Be In Legal Strike Position May 10th

Negotiations continue between the ETFO and the Ministry of Labour. Here at home, The Thames Valley District School Board are also in talks with the ETFO

Elementary teachers in Ontario will be in a legal strike position effective May 10th. 

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario made the announcement after getting a no board report from the Ministry of Labour.
 
New legislation mandates a two tiered approach to bargaining where anything to do with money, such as raises and sick leave, is negotiated through the Province and other matters are bargained directly with the school board. In order to avoid a strike a deal has to be reached both locally and provincially.

President of the ETFO Thames Valley Teachers Local Craig Smith says talks are moving slowly right now with the Thames Valley District School Board. 
Smith says both sides are still trying to iron out the kinks of the new system and they have had four meetings with the Board where they established the ground rules for their bargaining.

He adds while talks are still slow he thinks they are starting to get into the the type of rhythm you need to get a deal done. 

Smith says one of the biggest stumbling blocks right now comes from the Province taking control of preparation time away from teachers and putting it in the hands of the School Board. 

Smith adds teachers have been working without a contract since their last contract, which was imposed through Bill 115, expired last August.

Heart FM did hear from Jeff Pratt the Associate Director of Organizational Support Services with the Thames Valley District School Board who says "Talks are continuing with our teacher unions at the local level. We're unable to discuss any details while the bargaining process is underway, but we certainly appreciate the good will and hard work of members of both sides of the negotiating teams."

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