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Ontario Catholic teachers to vote on strike mandate

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  • October 21, 2019

Ontario’s English Catholic teachers will be voting on a strike mandate in November as they deal with what their union calls “reckless cuts” proposed during bargaining with the province.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association has met 17 times with government representatives and has “reached a critical juncture in the bargaining process,” said OECTA president Liz Stuart.

“To continue making progress, it has become necessary to conduct a strike vote to demonstrate our association’s solidarity and resolve,” said Stuart in a statement posted on the OECTA website. “The government has not listened to our representatives at the bargaining table, so we will be asking our members to demonstrate they are united and prepared to do whatever is necessary to stand up for Ontario’s world-class publicly-funded education system.”

The provincial government under Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford has pledged to return to a balanced budget in the near future. The education sector has been targeted as one of the big-ticket ministries where savings are being sought. That has led to conflict with the province’s education sector unions, though an agreement was recently reached with school support staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“Catholic teachers strongly oppose the Ford Conservative government’s regressive education agenda,” said Stuart. “The Minister (of Education) has publicly said the government is prepared to make investments in the classroom, but at the bargaining table they appear determined to pursue their reckless cuts.”

OECTA’s strike vote is expected to conclude on Nov. 13.

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