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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association flag flies at January 2020 teacher strike. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

English Catholic teachers ratify deal without a wage increase

By Randy Thoms Mar 27, 2024 | 5:09 AM

English Catholic teachers across the province are accepting the central terms of an agreement their union reached with the province earlier this month.

The outcome of the ratification vote by the 45,000 members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) conducted this week was not disclosed.

OECTA President René Jansen in de Wal says the deal does address several issues presented to government at the bargaining table.

“Our goal in this round of negotiations – as always – was to reach the best possible deal to better support all students and teachers, to address critical issues identified by Catholic teachers, and improve the learning and working environment that students and teachers need to succeed,” states Jansen in de Wal.

“The issues addressed, among others, include: better reporting and access to information to address increasing violence in schools; improving the resources and supports for student mental health and special education; and ensuring Catholic teachers in elementary and secondary schools receive the preparation and planning time they need, which has proven time and again to be critical in allowing teachers to best support student learning.”

Some issues could not be agreed upon.

Compensation is among them.

Jansen in de Wall says those issues will be sent to Voluntary Binding Interest Arbitration.

Both sides will be permitted to make presentations on each item to an independent arbitrator, who will render a decision at a future date.

The agreement also has to be signed off by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA).

Once that takes place, negotiations at the local level can proceed.