Ontario reaches tentative deal with Catholic teachers, ensuring no strikes

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce speaks to media at the Queen's Park Legislature in Toronto on Friday August 25, 2023. Lecce says the province has reached a tentative contract deal with the province's Catholic teachers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ontario’s Catholic teachers have reached a tentative contract deal with the province, ensuring no province-wide job action or strikes for the next three years.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association was the last of the four major teachers’ unions to reach a deal with the government and comes after more than 18 months of talks.

“We want to thank Catholic teachers, as well as the students and families we serve, for their patience during this exceptionally long bargaining period,” president René Jansen in de Wal wrote in a statement.

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“Our goal – as always – is to reach the best possible deal to better support all students and teachers, and to address key issues facing publicly funded schools in our communities across Ontario.”

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the structure of the tentative deal is similar to those agreed to with the other major teachers’ unions, which sent outstanding matters such as salary to binding arbitration.

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“For many of the education unions, they didn’t love that concept at first, and they’ve come on board over time,” he said Tuesday. “I’m pleased that they have sort of accepted this premise.”

Lecce said the deal delivers peace and stability to students.

Teachers are set to vote on ratification on March 26 and 27.

OECTA members earlier voted 97 per cent in favour of giving their union a strike mandate.

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