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Teachers, board ratify deal

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The Rainy River District School Board last night ratified the tentative contract agreement it had reached with the local Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario back on Feb. 8.

The two-year contract provides a total salary increase of eight percent—divided over two percent hikes as of September, 2000, February, 2001, September, 2001, and February, 2002.

It also reflects a reduction of two personal leave days, with provisions for one additional personal leave day when the board is reimbursed by the teacher for full occasional teacher costs.

The teachers had voted to ratify the deal in mid-February, shortly after the tentative agreement was reached.

“They did it earlier than us in response to an announcement by [Education minister Janet Ecker] about wage freezes,” noted Education Director Warren Hoshizaki.

“They actually asked us to do it earlier but we didn’t feel it was necessary,” he added.

In a press release issued this morning, the board noted the salary settlement was an important aspect for attracting teachers to the district. By the end of 2000-2001, it is competitive within the region and province.

The ratification makes the local school board the seventh in Ontario with a two-year deal.

“Board members are very pleased that we have a two-year agreement acceptable to both parties,” said chairman Gord McBride.

“The board considers its relationship with teachers to be critical to the well-being of the entire system, and the removal of a potential roadblock means we can all focus our main objective of education students,” he added.

These contract changes will directly benefit all elementary students in district schools, the board’s press release said.

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