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A classroom is seen during a media tour of an elementary school in Vancouver on September 2, 2020.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Ontario’s English Catholic teachers have reached a tentative deal with the provincial government, averting any job action in schools.

The government announced on Tuesday that the tentative agreement, if ratified, means it has completed negotiated deals with all teacher unions.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the deals “would deliver peace and stability to students.”

“By keeping children learning in-class with the full school experience of extracurricular activities, sports and clubs, we are restoring a much-needed focus on academics and protecting important routine for kids,” Mr. Lecce said in a statement.

Details of the tentative agreement with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association would not be available until after the ratification vote by members. If it follows a similar pattern as deals with other teacher unions, compensation increases for educators would be decided by a third-party arbitrator.

Last month, the French teachers’ union, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, said it had reached an agreement with the province and that salaries would be determined by an arbitrator. And late last year, members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the largest education union in the province, voted 90 per cent in favour of accepting a four-year agreement with the province and school boards’ association.

The contracts for all of Ontario’s education unions, including teacher unions, expired in August, 2022. The government and unions have negotiated four-year agreements that expire in August, 2026.

The government had urged the teacher unions to enter binding arbitration, which would have meant no strikes or lockouts, because any items not agreed on at the bargaining table would be sent to a third-party arbitrator.

Members belonging to the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation approved a proposal to use binding arbitration, if needed, to reach a new contract with the government.

The elementary teachers’ federation, along with the Catholic and French teachers, rejected the proposal. The unions said their items, which include preventing violence in schools and supports for special-needs students, would not be addressed through binding arbitration.

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