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Catholic teachers reach agreement

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

After nearly seven months without a contract, one of Ontario’s major teachers unions has reached a settlement with the Ford government.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) announced late Thursday it has reached a “tentative” deal for a new collective agreement.

In a news release, OECTA president Liz Stuart says details of the agreement will remain confidential until it is ratified.

If the union’s executive and local unit presidents recommend approval, teachers will participate in a province wide vote on April 7 and 8. As a result, OECTA has suspended all labour actions.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the tentative agreement, if passed, will ensure “stability” for students and teachers.

Lecce added he is hopeful new deals can be struck soon with the province’s three other teacher unions.

“The time is now to drive deals with all remaining unions as parents expect action, not delays,” he said. “We agree and will remain a positive and driving force at the bargaining table, advancing the priorities of parents and students.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has also announced strike actions planned for Monday, March 23 are suspended.

“Following the March Break, ETFO members will continue to engage in work-to-rule strike action but will not engage in full withdrawal of service rotating strikes that were scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond in a news release.