Another teachers’ union is pushing back against the Liberal Government.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association has put itself in a legal strike position by the middle of next month.
The OECTA, which represents some 50, 000 teachers, says it did attempt to reach an agreement with both the Province and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association without success, saying it was not willing to accept attacks on its collective agreement which would affect student learning conditions and the working environment of Ontario’s Catholic teachers.
Earlier this year, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike mandate. After that, the OECTA continued to bargain, with mediator assistance. Then in late June, the Association filed for conciliation, hoping to kick-start the resumption of negotiations.
Union representatives have requested a “no board” report, which is issued when there is a stalemate: conciliation is unsuccessful and the parties are not able to negotiate a collective agreement. OECTA will be in a legal strike position 17 days after the ‘no board” report is issued, likely by mid-August.
“The government’s aim is to make profound cuts to our collective agreements that would have a negative impact on students, their families, and our hard working teachers, who are already stretched to the limit. Our members are standing up for what’s right for the education system, principles the employer does not seem to be taking seriously. We are extremely disappointed. The Liberal government has repeatedly stated its commitment to the bargaining process, yet remains more interested in appeasing the elected trustees than addressing the needs of teachers and their students.” – Ann Hawkins OECTA president.