Ontario English Catholic teachers reach contract settlement

  • March 13, 2020

Ontario’s English Catholic teachers have reached a tentative contract agreement with the province that could put an end to work stoppages in the Catholic education system.

The deal was reached March 12, but details remain confidential pending ratification by members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association. Should the OECTA provincial executive and local unit presidents recommend approval, the union membership will vote on the deal April 7-8.

The tentative deal has brought a suspension of all OECTA strike action during the ratification process, said OECTA president Liz Stuart in a statement.

The deal is the first to be reached between the province and the four teacher unions that have been carrying out job action during labour negotiations with the province.

“Our government achieved our foremost priority — landing a good deal with a teachers’ union that advances the priorities of students and parents,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce in a statement.

“As part of our government’s singular focus to ending this impasse, we took action to advance the priorities of students and parents and provide fairness to teachers…. The time is now to drive deals with all remaining union partners as parents expect action, not delays. We agree and will remain a positive and driving force at the bargaining table, advancing the priorities of parents and students.”

The impasse with teachers has led to rotating strikes and the shutting down of schools. The unions have also held several mass protests at Queen’s Park. The announcement also comes at a time when all publicly-funded Ontario schools are preparing for March break before a two-week shutdown to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

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