Province pitched two teachers’ unions on class-size climbdown before minister went public, press secretary says

Stephen Lecce, Twitter photo

TORONTO — According to the education minister’s press secretary, two teachers’ unions were well aware of Stephen Lecce’s key climbdown on class size before he took the podium to announce the government’s softened bargaining positions at a press conference yesterday.

In an email to Nation Valley News, Alexandra Adamo identified the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation as having been apprised in advance of the province’s softening position on class size.

“The proposal of class size average at 23 has been presented to OECTA in writing. They have been aware since February 24,” Adamo wrote.

The “OSSTF is also aware of this proposal,” she continued, adding the union representing public high school teachers “was told during our exploratory talks.” Adamo confirmed in a follow-up email that the OSSTF was told of the class-size proposal before Lecce went public at the press conference.

The exploratory talks with the OSSTF began Sunday but came to a halt last night.

OECTA, meanwhile, is reported to have returned to the bargaining table today, even as its leader, Liz Stuart, said her union members planned to engage in a one-day province-wide strike tomorrow, March 5.

Below, the minister outlines the province’s proposal to the teachers’ unions during a March 3 press conference.
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