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Catholic teachers to hold strike vote

Catholic teachers across the province are moving to take a strike vote.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) announced Sunday it will conduct a province-wide strike vote next month.

According to a media release on Sunday, the OECTA Provincial Bargaining Team met 17 times with representatives of the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.

“We have reached a critical juncture in the bargaining process,” Liz Stuart, President of OECTA said in a statement.

Stuart says that the decision to vote was in response to “reckless cuts” from the Ford government. She believes that the strike vote is necessary because it will demonstrate the Association’s solidarity and resolve.

“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.”

Negotiations will continue while the strike vote is being conducted.

Stuart said that the association hopes to reach an agreement that recognizes Catholic teachers’ contributions to the province’s society and economy, protects against cuts and upholds learning and proper working conditions in the classrooms.

OECTA will conclude its strike vote on November 13.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is also currently holding a strike vote which is expected to wrap on up October 30.

OECTA represents the 43,000 professionals who teach in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.