IFS Toronto teachers ratify first contract as Union members

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November 6, 2017

After a difficult round of negotiations, the 28 teachers working at the Islamic Foundation School of Toronto ratified their very first collective agreement as Union members on November 2, 2017.

The committee achieved significant language recognizing the teachers as permanent employees of the school. Before this contract, teachers were hired on contracts that had to be renewed each year. The probationary period sends at six months as well. In addition, this contract extends to any changes in the geographic area of the school, and prevents contracting out.

The two-year agreement includes salary improvements for the new Union Members of $1,350 per year, instead of the previous $1,000 per year. In addition, the teachers receive a signing bonus and retroactive pay.

Teachers now benefit from Union Steward representation at any meetings regarding discipline, and can take advantage of a full grievance and arbitration process as well. Language ensures there will be no unpaid suspensions. The employer must provide a full written description of any disciplinary action, including terminations.

Language in the agreement ensures seniority recognition and protects bargaining unit work.

Further additions establish a process for job posting and filling, and address the supply teachers’ continuous employment and permanence.

Provisions lay out the specifics on hours of work including overtime, breaks, preparation time, staff meetings, and on-call time. Teachers can now leave school 15 minutes after end of class without any loss of pay. Previously, teachers had to remain in school for 30 minutes. The work day is reduced by one hour during the month of Ramadan, and there is language outlining orientation day and other special observances. Now, employees can use sick days as choice days as well.

Going forward, the parties will establish a joint health and safety committee and some Members will receive certification training. Finally, other agreed-to items include language for leaves of absence, reimbursement for educational courses and mileage for employer business, teacher evaluations, class size, and use of surveillance cameras in the classroom.

The full-time and part-time educators at the Toronto school voted to Join the Union in May 2017. With this first collective agreement, they can now start to enjoy the benefits of being a Union Member.

Union Negotiating Committee: Nadia El Lababidi, Hasan Lam, Storiy Whahedi, and Union Rep Jehan Ahamed.

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