The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) says 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 states a news release from the union.
“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 November, 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.
"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.
“We showed up at the bargaining table ready to roll up our sleeves and engage in a real dialogue, unfortunately, the government did not,” says Stuart.
The province-wide withdrawal of services will be the first of its kind for Catholic teachers in more than 20 years.
“The government’s claim that this is a common occurrence is an insult to Ontarians’ intelligence,” says Stuart.