English Catholic teachers' union announces province-wide strike
KITCHENER -- English Catholic public school boards will see their schools' doors closed as another union has announced strike measures.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association announced Tuesday that it would be holding a province-wide strike on Feb. 4.
"We know Ontarians are growing impatient with these negotiations. Frankly, we share their frustration," OECTA president Liz Stuart is quoted in part a statement.
"But we cannot allow this government to wear us all down and force us to accept their devastating cuts."
Job action began on Jan. 13, with a full withdrawal of services on Jan. 21. OECTA says there has not been a bargaining date with the province since Jan. 9.
On Tuesday afternoon, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce issued a statement saying he looks forward to returning to the table.
"We look forward to the opportunity to negotiate to reach a voluntary settlement that ends the union-led escalation that is hurting so many students," the statement reads in part.
The government-appointed mediator called the two sides back to the table on Tuesday, with talks scheduled for Wednesday.
The strike on Feb. 4 will cause all Waterloo Catholic District School Board schools--both elementary and secondary--to close.
Many programs at St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres will continue to run, but harstyling, culinary arts and secondary school credit courses will be cancelled.
The strike news comes one day after the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario announced it would begin province-wide walkouts in tandem with rotating strikes.
Combined, the province-wide and rotating strikes will keep Waterloo Region's public elementary school students out of school for three days in a two-week period.