Thunder Bay

Ontario's public Catholic teachers to hold one-day walkout on Tuesday

Thunder Bay's English Catholic schools will be closed to students on Feb. 4 as members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association hold a province-wide, one-day walkout.

All Thunder Bay English Catholic schools will be closed

OECTA members are planning a one-day walkout on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at publicly-funded Catholic school boards across Ontario. (CBC)

Thunder Bay's English Catholic schools will be closed to students on Feb. 4 as teachers participate in a one-day walkout.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) said the walkout will involve all of its members at publicly-funded Catholic school boards across the province are participating in the walkout.

That includes teachers with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, which said all of its schools will be closed to students for the day.

The board said the union is also planning information pickets before and after school on Feb. 3.

The job action is part of an ongoing dispute between Ontario's teachers' unions and the Ministry of Education.

"We know Ontarians are growing impatient with these negotiations," OECTA President Liz Stuart said in a statement." Frankly, we share their frustration."

But we cannot allow this government to wear us all down and force us to accept their devastating cuts," she said. "The long-term consequences for our schools and our students are simply unacceptable."

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce also issued a statement about the planned walkout, saying "teacher union presidents" are demonstrating their "disregard" for parents.

"Union leaders are prepared to stand up for things like higher benefits for their members but appear unable to stand up for the basic expectation that students should learn each and every day," Lecce's statement reads. "We are committed to meaningful good-faith negotiations with our labour partners so we can ensure students are in class."

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