The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has released the following statement from President René Jansen in de Wal, announcing that the Association is in the process of filing for conciliation, to continue to work towards a fair, negotiated collective agreement that supports all teachers and students.
“Catholic teachers have been bargaining with representatives of the Government of Ontario and Catholic school boards for almost 18 months. And while the process continues to move forward – with a clear improvement in tone at the table since our overwhelming 97 per cent strike vote – realizing actual progress remains extremely slow.
Catholic teachers have been beyond patient, especially as other education affiliates reach tentative agreements. Given these agreements, we are hopeful that, with the support and expertise of an appointed conciliator, we can make more significant progress, quicker.
Filing for conciliation is a crucial tool in the bargaining process, in which the parties work with a neutral third party in an attempt to move negotiations forward to reach a central tentative agreement. This does not mean the Association will begin a strike or job action.
Bargaining will continue while we reach out to the Ministry of Labour, which will appoint a conciliator – and we continue to call on the government and Catholic school board trustees to provide more dates to meet at the bargaining table.
We are hopeful that a conciliator will provide the necessary expertise and support, so that we can reach a fair, negotiated agreement that supports all Catholic teachers, and the students and families we serve, and makes the proper investment – in our students, in our schools, and in our future.”