Toronto, Nov. 13, 2019 - In a province-wide vote conducted this week, members of
the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) delivered an overwhelming
strike mandate, with 97.1 per cent voting in favour of authorizing strike action.
"The message we have sent to the government is loud and clear: Catholic teachers
will not accept any agreement that would be detrimental to learning and working
conditions in our schools," says Liz Stuart, President of OECTA. "The government
will try to portray this as teachers escalating tensions, but the reality is they
have created this situation by continuing to pursue their reckless cuts to education.
We know Ontarians do not approve of the Ford government's agenda - it is time for
the government to stop casting blame and instead get serious about making the proper
investments in our world-class system of publicly funded education."
OECTA is not yet in a legal strike position, so negotiations will continue for the
time being. However, to avoid having to take the next steps toward job action, the
Association is looking for significant movement from the government on a number
of important issues. "Our goal remains to negotiate a fair collective agreement
that respects Catholic teachers' contributions, ensures the safety and well-being
of teachers and students, and protects vital programs and services in our schools,"
says Stuart. "The government should take heed of the message they have received
today, and come to the table prepared to work with us toward this end."
OECTA represents the 45,000 passionate and qualified teachers in Ontario's publicly
funded English Catholic schools, from Kindergarten to Grade 12.