Catholic school teachers, trustees and the government in Ontario reached a tentative contract agreement before the start of school. Ann Hawkins, president of Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), said this agreement will protect the quality of education in schools. Photo courtesy of OECTA

OECTA reaches tentative deal with province, avoiding conflict to begin school year

By 
  • August 25, 2015

TORONTO - Catholic school teachers, trustees and the provincial government have come to a tentative contract agreement just days before the start of the new school year.

A deal was announced Aug. 25 in press releases from both the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), which represents the province's Catholic teachers, and the Ontario Catholic Schools Trustees' Association (OCSTA).

“We appreciate the government's efforts and those of the Catholic school trustees in reaching this tentative agreement,” said Ann Hawkins, OECTA's president. “We worked hard to address the concerns of our members and believe this agreement will protect them as well as the quality of education in our schools.”

Although details of the agreement remain held in confidence until the deal is ratified, it has at least postponed the potential job action OECTA had been in a position to take since Aug. 17.

Reaching a tentative deal and subsequently staving off job action, which OECTA said would not have closed schools entirely, has pleased OCSTA.  

Kathy Burtnik, president of OCSTA, said that “working within the fiscal restraints of the current bargaining framework was challenging, but surmountable with the concerted efforts of all parties.”

Negotiations surrounding the finer details are expected to continue into the fall.

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