Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining is what establishes your Collective Agreement, the document that outlines a teacher’s salary, benefits, working conditions, sick leave, vacation, protection from arbitrary discipline, and much more.

All members are urged to engage and get involved in the bargaining process.

Visit the ETFO Collective Bargaining website.

Ratification Vote Results

Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have voted in favour of accepting central bargaining agreements reached with the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Council of Trustees’ Associations:

  • ETFO’s teacher and occasional teacher members voted 97% in favour of the 2019-2022 Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement; and
  • ETFO’s education worker members voted 94% in favour of the 2019-2022 Education Worker Central Agreement.

“Our goal was to defend public education and the working and learning conditions that have made Ontario’s education system one of the best in the world,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “While these negotiations were prolonged and difficult, our educators – with the support from parents and other community members – stood firm in the face of planned government cuts to education.”

Highlights of the ETFO central agreements include:

  • A Supports for Students Fund that preserves 100% of special education and priority funding negotiated in 2017;
  • The Kindergarten model, with its teacher/designated early childhood educator (DECE) team, is preserved for the life of the agreement;
  • Proposed government funding cuts of $150 million to public elementary spending were withdrawn;
  • Elementary class size language in local collective agreements is preserved and there will be no class size increases during the life of the agreement;
  • Professional development/learning funds for education workers are increased; and
  • Sustainable funding for member benefits will continue.

“Along with our members, we want to thank parents and other supporters for standing together to defend public education over this past year,” added Hammond.

ETFO locals will now work with their respective school boards to negotiate local collective agreements.

What is Central Bargaining?

With the passage of Bill 122, the School Boards’ Collective Bargaining Act, 2014, all items with a monetary element are now negotiated at the provincial level between ETFO, the Ministry, and OPSBA (Ontario Public School Boards’ Association).

Items discussed at Central Bargaining include, but are not limited to:

  • Salary
  • Grids
  • Class sizes
  • Staffing levels
  • Benefits
  • Sick Days
  • Resources/Supports for Students with Special Needs
  • Full-Day Kindergarten
  • Addressing Violent Incidents
  • IEP processes

Visit the ETFO Collective Bargaining website for more information about the School Boards’ Collective Bargaining Act, 2014.

What is Local Bargaining?

Any item not considered a “central item” can be negotiated at the local level between ETT and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

Items discussed in Local Bargaining include, but are not limited to:

  • Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA)
  • Transfer Procedures
  • School Staffing Committee
  • Preparation Time
  • Supervision Time
  • Staff Meetings
  • Report Cards
  • Extracurricular Activity

Bargaining Maps

ETFO Collective Bargaining process chart.

Click here to enlarge
Download the Bargaining Map [PDF]

Click here to enlarge.
Download the Bargaining Map [PDF]

Provincial Bargaining Goals

ETFO’s 2019 bargaining goals for Teachers and Occasional Teachers are as follows:

  • Class composition provisions and class size caps in all grades;
  • Additional special education supports;
  • Real salary increases and increases to all forms of compensation, including benefits funding;
  • Improvements to Occasional Teacher hiring practices;
  • Improvements to workload and working conditions; and
  • Improvements to health and safety protection.

How Provincial Bargaining Goals Are Set

Step 1: Member Surveys

Member input is a critical piece of ETFO’s 2019 central (i.e., provincial) goal setting process. In November 2018, ETFO obtained member input about 2019 central bargaining issues in a variety of ways, including:

  • an online all-member survey;
  • a random sample telephone survey of members; and
  • face-to-face focus groups.

Step 2: Collective Bargaining Committee Developed Goals

ETFO’s Collective Bargaining (CB) Standing Committee is comprised of ETFO members from across the province who are appointed to carry out assigned tasks, or “Terms of Reference”, related to collective bargaining. The CB Committee is structured so that there is a member from each ETFO bargaining unit type (i.e., Teacher, Occasional Teacher, Designated Early Childhood Educator and Education Support Personnel/Professional Support Personnel) on the Committee.

The CB Committee’s Terms of Reference includes creating ETFO’s bargaining goals for each round of negotiations.

Member input about ETFO’s 2019 central bargaining goals was reviewed by the CB Standing Committee in November/December 2018. Based on that review, the CB Standing Committee developed draft central bargaining goals.

The draft central bargaining goals were then reviewed by ETFO’s Collective Bargaining Services staff.

After having reviewed the input of ETFO’s Collective Bargaining Services staff, the CB Standing Committee created ETFO’s 2019 central bargaining goals. The goals were then forwarded to ETFO’s Provincial Executive.

Step 3: Provincial Executive Recommends Goals

ETFO’s 2017-2019 Provincial Executive consists of fourteen members who are elected by delegates to the ETFO Annual Meeting.  The 2017-2019 Provincial Executive is comprised of:

  • the president;
  • the first vice-president;
  • two vice-presidents;
  • the ETFO representative to the Ontario Teachers’ Federation; and
  • additional executive members as necessary to complete an executive of fourteen.

At a meeting in January 2019, the Executive received the 2019 central bargaining goals from the CB Standing Committee.  The Executive then submitted those goals to ETFO’s Representative Council for approval.

Step 4: Representative Council Approves Goals

ETFO’s Representative Council (sometimes referred to as “Rep Council”) is composed of the president of each ETFO local, plus additional representatives based on the size of the local.  Under ETFO’s Constitution and Bylaws, Representative Council approves ETFO’s collective bargaining goals.

At its meeting in February 2019, members of Representative Council reviewed and approved ETFO’s 2019 central bargaining goals.

Flyer Downloads

ETFO Bargaining Goals Flyer 1 [PDF]
ETFO Bargaining Goals Flyer 2 [PDF]
ETFO Bargaining Goals Flyer 3 [PDF]
ETFO Bargaining Goals Flyer 4 [PDF]

Get Collective Bargaining Updates

Members, to ensure that you receive Collective Bargaining information in a timely manner please subscribe to receive ETT Electronic Communications.

ETFO also sends out a members-only Collective Bargaining eNewsletter. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date with ETFO. You can update your contact information either online or by calling ETFO at 416-962-3836 and asking for Member Records (available 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the bargaining process, please contact your Executive Officer.

ETT Reaches Local Tentative Agreement With the TDSB

Oct 16, 2020

ETT Reaches Local Tentative Agreement With the TDSB

The Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) is advising its members that a Local Tentative Agreement has...

Message From ETT Chief Negotiator: Local Bargaining Update

Sep 10, 2020

Message From ETT Chief Negotiator: Local Bargaining Update

Members, please login to access this content.

Local Bargaining Update

Jun 25, 2020

Local Bargaining Update

Though this school year may be coming to a close, local bargaining between ETT and the...

Message From ETT President Joy Lachica: ETFO Central Agreement a Fair Deal We Can Build On

Apr 28, 2020

Message From ETT President Joy Lachica: ETFO Central Agreement a Fair Deal We Can Build On

After a difficult period of negotiations and labour action, ETT and ETFO members across the province...

Show More Posts


Key Issues