The province has stepped away from negotiations with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario after tabling an offer.

In a statement issued on late Friday afternoon, Education Minister Liz Sandals said negotiators with the province and the Ontario Public School Board Association have presented the ETFO with a “comprehensive proposal” that is “in line” with the tentative agreement reached last month with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.

The tabling of the offer came after seven days of bargaining between the province and ETFO. There are no additional bargaining dates scheduled, according to Sandals.

“We understand that the ETFO Executive is meeting with local union presidents on Monday and we are hopeful that they will consider this settlement offer seriously,” Sandals wrote in her statement.

While Sandals said that the province remains “hopeful” that a settlement can be reached, ETFO President Sam Hammond sounded a less optimistic tone in an interview with CTV News.

“After 7 days of marathon bargaining with progress until yesterday the union was shocked that at 4:20 p.m. today the mediator informed the union that the OPSBA and the government were not prepared to give any further dates to bargain,” Hammond said.

Hammond added that he will meet with his chief negotiatiors and local president on Monday to decide what to do next.

Elementary school teachers in the province are currently in the midst of work-to-rule action that first began last spring and was expanded for the start of this school year.

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