The Halton Catholic School Board and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) have recently reached a tentative collective agreement, after lengthy negotiations that started last year. The agreement was announced on June 12, 2019, and is pending ratification by both parties.
The agreement covers approximately 1,400 elementary and secondary school teachers, occasional teachers, and education workers employed by the Halton Catholic School Board. The previous agreement expired on August 31, 2017, and negotiations for the new agreement started in May 2018.
The new agreement includes several changes and improvements for teachers and education workers. One of the main changes is a salary increase of 1.5% for each year of the three-year agreement, retroactive to September 1, 2017. Additionally, the new agreement includes improvements to benefits, such as increased coverage for paramedical services and an increase in the annual allowance for professional development.
Another improvement in the new agreement is the provision of paid leave for victims of domestic violence. This is a significant step in supporting employees who may be going through a difficult time and need time off to deal with personal issues. The agreement also includes improvements in the process for teachers to access maternity leave and parental leave, making it easier for them to take time off for the birth or adoption of a child.
The agreement also addresses concerns around job security and workload, with provisions to protect the jobs of part-time and occasional teachers, and additional support for teachers in managing their workload. The agreement also includes a commitment to explore and address issues of violence and harassment in the workplace, which is particularly important in the current climate of increased awareness around these issues.
Overall, the new collective agreement between the Halton Catholic School Board and OECTA represents a significant step forward in supporting the educational professionals who work tirelessly to provide quality education to students in Halton. The agreement is expected to be ratified by both parties in the coming weeks, and will be in effect until August 31, 2020.