The central agreement with the Education Workers’ Alliance of Ontario (EWAO) representing 3,975 education workers across the province, including education assistants, early childhood educators, professional services, custodial and maintenance staff, has been ratified by school boards and the unions and agreed to by the Government of Ontario.
As the government did with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in November 2019, this central agreement with EWAO demonstrates the government’s commitment to reaching deals that protect our children’s futures and invest in their potential.
The agreement was reached while respecting taxpayers, students and families, and recognizing the important contributions of front-line education workers. It reflects the government’s commitment to a fiscally sustainable publicly funded education system.
Collective agreements between school boards and EWAO include both central and local terms. The central terms are now resolved. In order to complete the collective bargaining process, local terms need to be reached between each school board and its EWAO bargaining units.
The three-year collective agreements will be effective September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2022.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CENTRAL AGREEMENT
Compensation and benefits: Under the agreement, EWAO education workers will receive a one percent wage increase and one percent benefits funding increase per year for three years.
Local Priorities Fund: Reinstatement of the fund that provides system priorities investments of $6.34 million annually for three years — of which, $5.76 million is for the special education staff in each year. This delivers on the government’s promise to protect front-line services by restoring about 100 full-time equivalent EWAO positions, including education assistants, child and youth workers/counsellors, professional student services personnel, office, clerical and technical, custodial and maintenance education workers.
Reducing absenteeism and reduce sick leave usage: The agreement includes a requirement stating that a medical certificate may be requested by the school board, and shall be provided by the employee, for access to short-term disability leave.
Measures also give school boards the ability to seek additional medical information relating to sick leave or short-term disability leave usage.
Continued support for Community Use of Schools: School boards will continue to receive approximately $18,405 per year for three years to keep schools open outside of class hours for community use.