Last Update: September 2023
Collective bargaining is the process by which a group of employees bargain as a unit (like a union) with their employer around wages, hours, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. The end goal of collective bargaining is a contract with the employer about those terms. That contract is called a collective agreement.
ETFO members’ collective agreements are divided into two parts: central terms and local terms. Central Bargaining includes many of the big-ticket items in Bargaining, such as salary, special education funding, preparation time, supervision time, sick leave and class size. Local Bargaining often focuses on more Board-specific implementation details, such as working conditions, assignment allocation, unpaid leaves and OT Roster removal.
Local Bargaining can occur concurrently with Central Bargaining or sequentially after it.
ETFO has a website dedicated to Central Bargaining: https://etfocb.ca/
Collective bargaining is an ongoing process that continually evolves, gaining more protections and better working conditions for education workers over time.
Each and every ETFO member has a stake in reading and understanding the agreement, and in supporting the local bargaining process.
Your principal, superintendents, and trustees may be well-intentioned individuals committed to helping you do your job, but good intentions are no substitute for a negotiated, legally enforceable document that unambiguously sets forth your rights in the workplace.
In short, collective bargaining protects your rights as an education worker. Read your collective agreement today.