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Catholic teachers to take province-wide strike action on January 21

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced that all of its members will be engaging in a one-day full withdrawal of services on Tuesday, January 21. This means teachers in publicly funded Catholic district school boards across Ontario will not be reporting to work or performing any of their duties. The previously announced administrative job action will remain in effect before and after this date. In the Kingston area, the job action will affect the following schools:

Archbishop O’Sullivan C. S., Kingston

Ecole Catholique Cathedrale, Kingston

Holy Name C. S., Kingston

J.J. O’Neill C. S., Napanee

Mother Teresa School, Kingston

Our Lady of Lourdes, Kingston

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Amherstview

Sacred Heart C. S., Wolfe Island

St. James Major C. S., Sharbot Lake

St. Francis of Assisi C. S., Kingston

St. Gregory C. S., Picton

St. John XXIII C. S., Kingston

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys C. S., Kingston

St. Martha School, Kingston

St. Patrick C. S., Harrowsmith

St. Paul C. S., Kingston

St. Thomas More C. S., Kingston

Holy Cross C. S. S., Kingston

Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education, Kingston

Regiopolis-Notre Dame C. H. S., Kingston

“It has become clear that this government will only do the right thing when they are under pressure from Ontarians. They have left us little choice but to take the next legal step in the bargaining process,” says OECTA President Liz Stuart in a release explaining the job action.

The release says that in November of 2019, OECTA members voted 97.1 per cent in favour of taking strike action if necessary. “When they were presented with the issues at the bargaining table, Catholic teachers gave their negotiating team overwhelming support,” says Stuart. “Of course teachers would rather be in the classroom, but the government needs to recognize that we are united in opposition to their cuts, and we cannot accept an agreement that would have devastating, long-term consequences for our students and schools. We appreciate that strike action will be difficult for parents, but we are confident they will understand our need to demonstrate our resolve to protect our world-class education system.”

Last week, midway through the first of two scheduled days of negotiations, the Ministry of Labour- appointed conciliator adjourned bargaining, having deemed the parties to be too far apart on the issues. No further bargaining dates have been set. 

The province-wide withdrawal of services will be the first of its kind for Catholic teachers in more than 20 years. “Negotiations are always tough, but teachers have only had to take this type of action when our rights and working conditions, and the learning conditions of our students, have been under direct attack,” says Stuart. 

 

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