TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced that if an agreement is not reached, members will participate in rotating full withdrawals of service the week of February 24. (The rotation schedule is below and also available at All OECTA bargaining units within each Catholic district school board will engage in a full withdrawal of service on their assigned day.)“Teachers and education workers across the province are united, and the public are firmly behind us,” says OECTA President Liz Stuart. “Everyone is saying we do not support the Ford government’s destructive agenda for publicly funded education, and everyone knows the solution is for the government to back away from their reckless cuts and come up with a real plan to reach a fair agreement. But the government still is not listening. All we can do is continue to demonstrate our determination and solidarity.” In addition to the upcoming province-wide walkout on February 21, OECTA members engaged in full withdrawals of service on January 21 and February 4, and have been taking administrative job action since January 13. At the request of the Ministry of Labour-appointed mediator, the OECTA Provincial Bargaining Team will meet with representatives of the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association on Wednesday, February 19 to continue negotiations.  “We are ready to get back to the table, but the government needs to recognize that these discussions must be about protecting our world-renowned publicly funded education system,” says Stuart. “They keep talking about being reasonable, but there is nothing reasonable about cutting supports for vulnerable students, nothing reasonable about increasing class sizes and reducing course options, and nothing reasonable about imposing mandatory e-learning. Catholic teachers have done our part to move these negotiations forward, but we cannot accept the government’s agenda to take resources out of the classroom.” The announcement of a new bargaining date, and potential additional job action, comes as polling continues to show the Ford government’s popularity plummeting. “Nobody voted for what this government is trying to impose. People clearly do not want it,” says Stuart. “The government may have thought they could drag these negotiations out and wear everyone down, but their scheme is not working. Ontarians want an agreement to be reached, but not at the expense of the long-term interests of our students and schools.”OECTA Strike Rotation ScheduleMonday, February 24         Huron-Superior CDSBNiagara CDSBNorthwest CDSBSt. Clair CDSBToronto CDSBWaterloo CDSBTuesday February 25Durham CDSBHalton CDSBHuron-Perth CDSBKenora CDSBNipissing-Parry Sound CDSBOttawa CDSBPeterborough VNC CDSBSudbury CDSBThunder Bay CDSBThursday, February 27Algonquin & Lakeshore CDSBBrant Haldimand Norfolk CDSBBruce-Grey CDSBDufferin-Peel CDSBNortheastern CDSBRenfrew County CDSBSimcoe Muskoka CDSBSuperior North CDSBFriday, February 28Catholic District School Board of Eastern OntarioHamilton-Wentworth CDSBLondon District CSBYork CDSBWellington CDSBWindsor-Essex CDSB- 30 -OECTA represents the 45,000 passionate and qualified teachers in Ontario’s publicly funded English Catholic schools, from Kindergarten to Grade 12.Michelle Despault, Director of Communciations
Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
416-925-2493 x 509

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