“Catholic teachers have met more than 40 times with the government and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, made significant progress with the trustees on major issues, and offered flexible solutions to the government to help protect publicly funded education in Ontario. Recognizing that strike action is difficult for everyone involved, our decision to suspend this week’s rotating strikes was another show of good faith, which further demonstrated our commitment to resolving these difficult negotiations.
With our Association having done everything we can to move things forward, the government was told it was their responsibility to come to the table this week with a plan to reach an agreement that would be acceptable to Catholic teachers. This did not occur. After the Minister of Education spent the weekend making baseless, inflammatory accusations about Catholic teachers and our Association, his bargaining team held firm to their agenda to take resources out of the classroom. At times, it seems they have no real intention of negotiating an agreement.
Our Association remains committed to our goal of reaching a fair agreement at the bargaining table, and we will await word from the mediator as to whether she believes further negotiations would be worthwhile. However, we will not tolerate the government’s disrespect for our members, or their insistence on making permanent cuts to publicly funded education. While our administrative job action continues, OECTA will also be considering options for further strike action.”
Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association