Catholic schools to close next Tuesday

The Windsor Essex Catholic Education Centre. (Photo by Alexandra Latremouille)

The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board is closing it’s elementary and secondary schools next Tuesday, January 21 because of a one-day walkout by teachers.

It is the latest escalation in the labour dispute between the teachers’ union, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, and the province.

“We understand and respect that OECTA is in a legal strike position,” said a statement from board spokesman, Stephen Fields.  “We appreciate that this job action may cause an inconvenience for students and their families. We would ask that our students and their families remain patient as the collective bargaining process unfolds.”

The union that represents public elementary school teachers also plans to start one-day rotating strikes on Monday, but so far, there has been no word if the action will include members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario in Windsor-Essex.

Past walkouts by their counterparts represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation have closed both public elementary and secondary schools in Windsor-Essex twice.  While OSSTF represents public high school teachers, it also bargains on behalf of educational support workers in elementary schools.

Meanwhile, the union that represents teachers at Ontario’s French-language school boards said it will start a job action Thursday.  It plans to release more details about its campaign on Tuesday.

All four unions are taking part in job action campaigns to protest the lack of progress at the bargaining table with the province.