Catholic Teachers Continue Rolling Strikes Tuesday

AM800-NEWS-CATHOLIC-TEACHERS-STRIKE-JANUARY-2020

Catholic teachers are hitting the picket lines for the second time in two weeks.

Five schools across Windsor-Essex will see members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association form picket lines, along with the office of Chatham-Kent MPP Rick Nicholls.

It's part of province-wide rolling strikes to back demands on a new contract with the Progressive Conservative government.

Local OECTA President Joe Brannagan says, teachers are frustrated with the provinces stance on class sizes, cuts to services, and Education Minister Stephen Lecce's insistence negotiations are stuck on wages.

"They say that they've given concessions but they've only changed their proposal, that's not a concession. They're just looking to make cuts and none of them make any sense in terms of making it better for students or teachers across the board," he says. 

Brannagan says more than 1,800 Catholic teachers in Windsor-Essex would rather be in the classroom.

"Everybody is frustrated that we have to go out for a second time in two weeks, but we're definitely resilient and willing to do what we have to do to make sure that the cuts the government is trying impose are changed," says Brannagan. "None of us want to walk the picket line, but everybody knows that the government is not making sense with what they're trying to sell to the public."

Local OECTA members will have picket lines set up at Assumption College Catholic High School on Huron Church Rd., Catholic Central High School on Tecumseh Rd. E., St. Joseph's Catholic High School on Clover Ave., Christ the King Catholic Elementary School on Grand Marais Rd. W. and Saint Louis Elementary School in Leamington.

As a result of the strike, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has closed all of its elementary and secondary schools Tuesday.

All four major teachers' unions are engaged in job action as they negotiate new collective agreements with the PC's.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.