Catholic school teachers planning one-day strike

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The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) will be holding a one-day strike on Jan. 21 if an agreement with the province is not reached before then. 

OECTA is the third union to begin rotating, one-day strikes in the wake of fraught negotiations with the province. 

Prior to OECTA's Jan. 13 announcement, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that it would launch rotating one-day strikes on Jan. 20. The ETFO, which does not represent Catholic school teachers, also said that it would be amping up its ongoing work-to-rule job action. 

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), which represents public secondary school teachers, has already held rotating, one-day strikes across the province.

"OECTA President Liz Stuart is assessing media regarding the full withdrawal of services on Jan 21," OECTA said on its official Twitter page. 

"Teachers are the last line of defence against this government's cuts. We are ready to negotiate, but [government] must come to the table ready to protect publicly funded education." 

Unions argue that cuts, increased class sizes, mandatory e-learning and lack of support to combat violence in schools are prompting job action. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, has argued that teachers are seeking unreasonable pay increases.

Lecce is asking teachers unions to accept a one per cent pay increase and has accused the OSSTF of asking for a $1.5 billion compensation increase.

Negotiations are ongoing. 

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