Some of our counterparts in education unions in both Canada and the United States have recently achieved settlements at the bargaining table. For some unions, these agreements have been hard-won after job action, and for others, the road has been less bumpy. However they are achieved, victories don’t come at all without solidarity within the membership. It is important to acknowledge some recent successes of education unions in North America:
United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)
After more than 30,000 members of the UTLA spent six days walking the picket lines, the union was able to negotiate a tentative agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The settlement includes a three percent retroactive pay increase, a future pay increase of three percent, reductions in class sizes, and guarantees to have nurses and counselors in schools. A day into the strike, OSSTF/FEESO sent a letter of solidarity and a photo of our local leaders standing in support of UTLA. The new UTLA collective agreement was ratified with an historic 81% approval rate.
Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NTLA)
The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Federation reached a tentative agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador School Boards Association and the provincial government. While no details of the agreement have been publicly shared to date, Dean Ingram, President of the NLTA said, “We look forward to consideration of the details by teachers and possible ratification of an agreement which will enable us to continue to concentrate on our main job of educating the children and students of this province.”
Yukon Teachers’ Association (YTA)
The Yukon Teachers’ Association had been without a Collective Agreement since July 1, 2018 and now have a tentative agreement with the Government of Yukon that they will take to their membership for ratification. The new agreement allows substitute teachers to join the union for the first time.
Apart from these settlements, in Colorado, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association is preparing for strike action, in part to stave off performance-based pay.
As always, OSSTF/FEESO congratulates our education colleagues on the settlements they achieve, and stands in solidarity with them when action becomes inevitable to achieve their goals.