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Ontario's English Catholic teachers union, province reach tentative agreement

TORONTO — The Ontario government has reached a labour deal with another group of the province's teachers.

Education Minister Liz Sandals issued a statement saying the province has struck a tentative agreement with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association.

The terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The deal comes after a turbulent period between the province and its 130,000 teachers, who have been without contracts for more than a year.

Last week, Ontario reached a deal with the province's high school teachers that will see them get a one-per-cent lump sum payment for the upcoming school year, a one-per-cent raise as of Sept. 1, 2016, and another half-per-cent later on.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is expected to resume negotiations on Sept. 1.

"The tentative agreement is the result of hard work and the willingness of all parties to resolve difficult issues prior to the start of the school year," Sandals of the latest tentative deal, adding that any salary increases would be offset through the collective agreement.

"We remain committed to bargaining throughout the remaining weeks of the summer in order to reach agreements at all tables."

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association president Ann Hawkins said the new agreement will protect the quality of education in the province’s Catholic schools, adding that any pending work-to-rule efforts by the teachers have been suspended.

The Canadian Press

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