GOVERNMENT INACTION LEADS TO TALKS WITH CATHOLIC TEACHERS BREAKING DOWN

TORONTO, Jan. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) is greatly disappointed that collective bargaining discussions with the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association have broken down.“Our Association has been able to work with the Catholic school trustees to make progress on a number of important issues, but thus far the government has not played a constructive role,” says OECTA President Liz Stuart. “The government has been firm that they have no intention of reconsidering their reckless, unpopular cuts. We came to the table ready to work through today and tomorrow, but after only half-a-day, even the Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator agrees there is not much more we can accomplish for the time being.” With no deal having been reached, OECTA members across the province will be taking administrative job action beginning Monday, January 13. As part of the job action, Catholic teachers will not be completing report cards, participating in EQAO-related activities, and attending or participating in Ministry of Education initiatives, among other things.“Ontarians understand that the government’s cuts are completely unacceptable to Catholic teachers,” says Stuart. “We are already seeing consequences in schools across Ontario. We simply cannot and will not accept an agreement that would result in thousands of teaching positions and tens of thousands of course options being eliminated, classes growing to 40 students or more, and vital services and supports for vulnerable students being lost. At some point, the government needs to acknowledge that the ball is in their court to do the right thing. They keep saying they are being reasonable and working on behalf of Ontarians, but today we have seen yet again that they are content to waste everyone’s time and resources without engaging in any meaningful way. Until we see some evidence to the contrary, Ontarians can only assume that this government actually has no intention of negotiating an agreement.”  - 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
m.despault@catholicteachers.ca

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