Catholic school teachers to hold one-day strike

(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / tomwang)

Students who attend Catholic school in Ontario will get a day off next week.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association announced Monday that its members will hold a one day strike on Tuesday, January 21. The union says members will not report to work on that day. It added that the current work to rule campaign the union is engaged in will continue both before and after the one-day work stoppage.

“It has become clear that this government will only do the right thing when they are under pressure from Ontarians,” OECTA President Liz Stuart said in a news release issued Monday. “They have left us little choice but to take the next legal step in the bargaining process.”

OECTA members launched a work to rule campaign on Monday, January 13. Members are not performing administrative tasks, such as conducting standardized tests, completing report cards, and attending Ministry of Education initiatives. The campaign came after talks between the union and the province broke down on Thursday.

In November, OECTA members gave the union a strike mandate by a vote of 97.1 per cent.

“When they were presented with the issues at the bargaining table, Catholic teachers gave their negotiating team overwhelming support,” Stuart said. “Of course teachers would rather be in the classroom, but the government needs to recognize that we are united in opposition to their cuts, and we cannot accept an agreement that would have devastating, long-term consequences for our students and schools. 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.”

One-day strikes have already been held at public high schools in Ontario and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario has warned of one day, rotating strikes that will begin January 20 if the government doesn’t address what it calls “critical issues” in bargaining.