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Ontario Catholic school teachers vote 97 per cent in favour of strike

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has voted in favour of authorizing a strike action, if necessary, according to a statement made by the group Thursday.

The province-wide vote took place Oct. 18 and 19, it said. Ninety-seven per cent voted in favour of the mandate.

President Rene Jansen in de Wal said the vote sends a “clear message” to the Doug Ford government that “Catholic teachers want to see meaningful progress and results at the bargaining table.”

According to Jansen in de Wal, the province has not addressed a lack of resources, support and time needed by Ontario’s teachers in order to best serve students.

“As we move forward with our next bargaining dates, the Ford Conservative government and Catholic trustee representatives need to understand that Catholic teachers – 45,000-strong – are united in solidarity, and prepared to do whatever is necessary to reach an agreement that supports all students, families, and teachers – one that addresses the pressing issues faced in classrooms across the province,” she said in OECTA’S statement.

Following news of the vote, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce issued a statement stating his government stands with parents “who insist that their children stay in class without disruption,” calling the move towards a strike “disappointing.”

“We’ve already reached a fair deal with one of the largest teacher unions to keep kids in class, and we urge that OECTA does the same by coming to the table, signing a deal, and committing to keeping kids in class.”

On Wednesday, Ontario’s public English elementary school teachers also moved closer to job action, with 95 per cent of the federation voting in favour of a strike mandate.

This is a breaking news story. More to come…

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