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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2003

Agreement is good news for Elementary teachers and students
Elementary teachers of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board have a complete collective agreement through to August 31, 2004, following ratification votes by the Board and the local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

The cost to the Board is within the three percent provided for in the funding for teachers’ salaries as set by the province. These amendments, along with previously agreed to amendments, complete a three-year package through to August 31, 2004, and fulfills the Ministry of Education’s requirement for school boards in Ontario to reach three-year collective agreements.

The Board of Trustees welcomes completion of the new agreement. Chair of the Board Judy Edgar offered praise for the two parties, stating, “The Board is proud of the two parties and the positive manner in which they successfully negotiated this agreement. It means that our staff and students can return to school in September with an assurance that negotiations will not disrupt their year. We can all concentrate on why we are here: to provide our students with an excellent education.”

David Patterson, President of ETFO Hastings - Prince Edward is equally complimentary of the renewed spirit of cooperation and resolve to provide a stable work environment to teachers working to achieve high levels of excellence and equity. “The settlement is a clear example of local accountability, with the Board and Union realizing through the collective bargaining process real improvements. The ongoing failure of the Provincial government to show commitment to publicly funded, public education, by providing stable long term funding to the Board, remains a disservice to all committed to making for a strong public school system.”

Last week, in order to meet June payroll processing, the Board and ETFO agreed to salary grid increases for 2002–2003 as follows: 2.8 percent on September 1, 2002, and 1.37 percent on June 27, 2003, bringing the annual A4 maximum salary to $73,065, the same level as secondary.

The new collective agreement also includes provisions for salary increases of 2.7% on September 1, 2003 and 1.3% on August 31, 2004, bringing the annual A4 maximum salary to $76,013 on August 31, 2004.

Chris Salt, Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations, and the Board’s negotiating team leader points out, “In order to attract and retain the best teachers, our teachers’ salaries must be competitive. This A4 maximum is very close to the provincial median.”

Other items in the agreement deal with clarification on communication processes, a no-cost increase in preparation time from 150 minutes to 160 minutes per five-day cycle, and establishment of committees to review benefits, to study alternatives to the Sick Leave Credit Payment Plan, and to study supervision schedules in schools.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has 54 schools serving 18,900 students and employing 1,083 teachers. The Board covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south, and Quinte West to the west.

For information contact :
• Judy Edgar, Chair of the Board, 921-3203 or 1 800 267-4350, x2354 (to leave a message)
• David Patterson, Local President, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (613) 962-1210 x28
• Chris Salt, Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations, HPEDSB (613) 966-1170 x2281