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Canada Ontario elementary teachers ratify deal that would give them a 2-per-cent salary hike

Ontario's public elementary teachers have ratified a deal that would give them a 2-per-cent salary hike.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario said Sunday that its 76,000 members voted 91 percent in favour of the agreement with the province.

The salary increase would take effect in September, 2014, after the current contract expires, and will eliminate a wage gap between public elementary teachers and their Catholic and French counterparts. ETFO was penalized back in 2008 after a standoff with then-education minister and now Premier Kathleen Wynne.

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ETFO is the last teachers' union to settle the current two-year contract that ends August, 2014.

"The agreement brings added stability to the province's classrooms while ensuring fairness and consistency across the education sector for all elementary teachers and support staff in Ontario," Education Minister Liz Sandals said in a statement on Sunday.

ETFO's high-school counterparts voted in favour of negotiated agreements with the province this year that, among other items, promised a better payout for younger teachers who lost their banked sick days when the government imposed the terms of their contracts under former education minister Laurel Broten.

Ms. Broten, who is now minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, announced Sunday that she will be leaving politics on July 2 and moving with her family to Halifax.

During her term as Education Minister, she introduced Bill 115, which dictated the terms of teacher contracts. Teachers began political protests, and stopped voluntary activities, such as leading clubs or sports teams.

The Ontario Liberals chose a new leader in January, and talks between unions and the government resumed under Ms. Wynne.

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