06/24/2013 08:31 EDT | Updated 08/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Elementary teachers vote to accept new deal

Ontario's elementary school teachers have accepted a new deal with the provincial government after months of labour strife.

- Elementary teachers broker deal to end 2% 'salary penalty'

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says 91 per cent of its members who voted accepted the deal that was reached earlier this month.

"It is evident from the result that our members agreed with the Federation that this is the best possible contract achievable within the political and economic context of discussions," said ETFO President Sam Hammond in a news release.

The agreement freezes wages, but guarantees a two per cent raise starting next year.

The public school teachers are paid two per cent less than teachers in the French and Roman Catholic school systems, but Education Minister Liz Sandals promises that will be fixed before the next round of bargaining.

Most of Ontario’s 126,000 public elementary and secondary school teachers stopped supervising extracurricular activities last year to protest Bill 115, which imposed contracts that included a two-year wage freeze.

The elementary teachers federation staged a series of one-day strikes in December to protest the legislation.

Sandals issued a statement saying the two sides have made great strides in rebuilding the relationship between teachers and the provincial government.

"All parties showed a willingness to seek common ground to support our shared goal — ensuring the highest level of student success," she said.