January 14, 2016 7:27 pm
Updated: January 14, 2016 8:20 pm

New Lester B. Pearson teacher’s deal approved

WATCH ABOVE: Teachers at the Lester B. Pearson School Board voted to accept the government's offer for a new contract, but they managed to show their displeasure by deciding they will continue to work-to-rule. Global's Paola Samuel reports.

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The union encouraged teachers to decide what is best for their students when planning activities, but they will not be penalized for making that choice.

MONTREAL – The teacher strike is over but their dissatisfaction is not. That became very clear when teachers at the Lester B. Pearson School board voted on their new deal.

The 5-year labour agreement was approved, but only by the slimmest of margins: 51 percent in favour. The teachers had asked for a 13.5 percent pay hike over three years, the final settlement is a 7.5 percent raise over five years.

“It was probably the toughest negotiations in the past 30 or 40 years,” said John Donnelly of the Pearson Teacher’s Union.

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“There will be unhappy teachers at the way they were treated by the government.”

It is not all good news, however, 68 percent of teachers also voted to limit extra-curricular activities in the classroom. After-school activities are back on, but any field trip or extra activity during classroom time is being discouraged.

In early January, teachers with the Riverside School Board overwhelmingly voted in favour of the contract, the Sir Wilfred Laurier Board and the EMSB will vote towards the end of the month.

“The fact the they approved – even by a small majority – that they approved the agreement in principle is a good thing,” added Suanne Stein Day, Chair of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

“It’s a positive that gives us the steps, and gives the unions the steps to move forward with their membership.”

The teachers unions were quick to point out that now that the negotiations are over, teachers still have the option to plan field trips for their classes. They use a pressure tactic known as “work to rule”, which means teachers aren’t taking anything away from their students, but are following the bare minimum of their contract. They work their required hours in the classroom and that is it.

The union encouraged teachers to decide what is best for their students when planning activities, but they will not be penalized for making that choice.

A choice that parents and the school board hope teachers will make often.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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