UPDATE: Niagara Catholic Board and Union meeting with mediator today

A meeting is being held today between the Niagara Catholic School board and the union representing its elementary teachers.

The School Board announced on Friday it would be locking out the teachers starting Monday March 20th if the two sides couldn't reach a deal.

The two sides have been in collective agreement negotiations since February of last year.

Today, both sides are sitting down with a provincially appointed mediator.

Chair of Niagara Catholic District School Board, Father Paul MacNeil tells CKTB they are hopeful a deal can be reached.

In a release, the Niagara Unit of the OECTA says the lock-out notice shows a lack of respect for students and teachers.

The board says schools will remain open in the event of a lock out, but they are suggesting parents look for alternate childcare arrangements.

None of the outstanding issues between the two sides involve salary.