November 29, 2019 Toronto, ON – After two frustrating days of negotiations on November 26 and 28, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is urging the government to demonstrate more progress next week on key issues at the bargaining table. “ETFO wants to reach a fair deal, and our bargaining team has been working hard to achieve that goal,” said ETFO’s president, Sam Hammond. “We come ready every time to have meaningful discussions on issues that are important to our members. But we are not seeing the same commitment on the government’s part.” Issues raised by ETFO at the bargaining table include supports for students with special needs, school-based violence and class size. To date, almost no progress on these issues has been achieved after four months of formal bargaining. “ETFO’s bargaining team has been making proposals and then sitting around waiting for answers that never come,” stated Hammond. “We need the government to be a more active, more engaged partner in the bargaining process.” “Good faith bargaining means all participants need to make a sincere attempt to reach an agreement,” continued Hammond. “The government’s team has not bargained effectively.” “Quite frankly, it is unsettling to see Ford’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, make public statements about bargaining issues in public when his negotiating team has mostly shown inertia on key issues affecting our members and their students. We expect the government to come prepared to bargain seriously at our next meeting on Monday, December 2.” ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at BuildingBetterSchools.ca. For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell: 416-948-0195, firstname.lastname@example.org.