TORONTO — Contract extensions agreed to by Ontario's teachers and education workers come with more than $275 million in additional funding as well as four-per-cent raises.
All central education unions have now ratified agreements to extend their contracts to 2019 — past the next provincial election.
The deals were set to expire this August, and the two-year extensions mean the Liberal government won't have to contend with contentious teacher bargaining ahead of the election.
High school, elementary, English Catholic and French teachers as well as support staff will get four per cent in salary increases over the two years.
They will also get a one-time payment for professional development, supplies and equipment equivalent to a 0.5-per-cent salary increase.
The deals come with $219 million in new funding for hiring, which the government says could support about 875 teachers and between 1,600 and 1,830 education workers.
Another $56 million is in the elementary deal to hire teachers and early childhood educators so class sizes can be reduced to a cap of 30 students in most full-day kindergarten classes next school year and down to 29 the following year.
There will also be another $3.5 million allocated to school boards for professional learning and about $800,000 more for school boards with costs involved in keeping schools open late for community uses.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect amount for funding to keep schools open late for community use.