October 10, 2015 4:10 pm
Updated: October 10, 2015 6:23 pm

Teachers union disputes government claim of stalled negotiations

Minister of Education Liz Sandals talks during a press conference at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, January 15, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
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TORONTO — Ontario’s elementary teachers union says the minister of education is mistaken in her claim that the union has put contract negotiations on hold.

Liz Sandals says there has been some progress in talks, but added that the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario has put negotiations on hold indefinitely to look over some remaining issues.

However, ETFO President Sam Hammond said negotiations were only delayed owing to conflicts between the ministry and the Ontario Public School Boards Association.

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“Talks were not suspended, contrary to what the Minister of Education has inferred today,” he said. “ETFO was prepared to bargain today if OPSBA and the government could develop a revised proposal addressing our concerns. Although we waited all day, they were not able to do that.”

READ MORE: Wynne urges elementary teachers to accept same deal as high school colleagues

Elementary teachers have been without a contract for more than a year, and on a work-to-rule campaign since May.

They launched the second phase of their campaign last month, at the beginning of the school year.

As part of the work-to-rule campaign, teachers are not participating in field trips or school fundraising, and are not collecting or distributing paperwork to students on behalf of their schools or school boards.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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