English Catholic teachers the latest to announce new job action

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We could forgive parents for being a little confused in the wake of stepped up labour action by teachers unions across the province. 

The latest announced this week is Ontario's English Catholic teachers who say they'll  hold a one-day strike next Tuesday, January 21, that will affect elementary and secondary schools across the province.

The union president says their 45,000 members are upset with negotiations that broke off last week with no new talks on the horizon.  

Liz Stuart says the Doug Ford government appears to only "do the right thing" when its under pressure.

The union says they have not made the decision lightly and teachers would much rather be in the classroom than out on the street. 

Stuart announced the latest job action when the union,  OECTA,  was only hours into their brand new work-to-rule campaign. 

"The reality is, teachers are the last line of defence when it comes to stopping this government's reckless education agenda," she said. "We will not stand by and let this government continue on a path that will have such devastating long-term consequences for our students and our schools."

Meanwhile, public elementary teachers stepped up their work-to-rule campaign on Monday and are planning to hold rotating strikes starting next week if there's no new deal by Friday, January 17.  

And public high school teachers are also continuing their one-day rotating strikes on Wednesday - this time affecting Grey Bruce. 

Because the union not only includes teachers but educational workers as well, the Bluewater District School Board will close ALL elementary and high schools on Wednesday. 

And teachers in the French system have also announced a work-to-rule campaign

All of Ontario's major teachers' unions have expressed frustration with a lack of progress in talks with the government. They have been without contracts since the end of August. 

On Monday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said teachers' unions must stop further escalation, which is  hurting students.

"We've seen this story before," he said. "I really hope the teachers' unions will better reflect on a pathway forward that is constructive  that does not adversely impact learning for students."

 

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