Ontario’s English Catholic teachers will hold a one-day strike on January 21 that will affect elementary and secondary schools, following stalled negotiations with the provincial government.

The president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association said the union’s 45,000 members will walk off the job on Tuesday, January 21, after negotiations with the government broke off last week and no new dates have been scheduled.

Liz Stuart said the government appears to only “do the right thing” when it is under pressure, so teachers have little choice but to take the next step in the bargaining process.

Latest talks broke down last week

Stuart announced the latest job action the same day the union, known as OECTA, started a work-to-rule campaign that included not participating in standardized testing, preparing report cards or participating in Ministry of Education initiatives.

The latest round of talks with Premier Doug Ford’s government broke down last week after just two hours, the union said. Stuart said the province’s team has shown no willingness to budge on key issues such as mandatory e-learning or class sizes or make any pledge to maintain full-day kindergarten.

Meanwhile, public elementary teachers stepped up their work-to-rule campaign on Monday and are planning for rotating strikes starting next week, while public high school teachers are set to stage the latest in a series of one-day, rotating strikes on Wednesday.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is planning rotating strikes starting January 20 unless there is significant progress in contract talks.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has staged a series of rotating strikes and have also been on a work-to-rule campaign since November.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Saturday that teachers in the French system have also announced a work-to-rule campaign, but the union would only say it will talk about the next steps in the bargaining process at a press conference on Tuesday. -CINEWS


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