Catholic teachers’ strikes suspended, OSSTF strikes a go

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Catholic teachers’ strikes suspended, OSSTF strikes a go

Teacher unions are both making changes and continuing with a plan following a province-wide strike.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association announced late Friday that its talks with the government will resume Monday, and they are therefore suspending rotating strikes they’d planned for next week.

Talks with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation have been stalled for two months and the union says it plans to resume rotating strikes Feb. 28 at several boards, including Wellington Catholic, Ottawa-Carleton, Durham, Hamilton-Wentworth, Upper Grand, Upper Canada, Bluewater and several northern boards.

On Friday, thousands of teachers marched around the Ontario legislature during a province-wide strike to put bargaining pressure on the government.

The walkout by all four major teachers’ unions marked the first time since 1997 that educators from all the labour groups were on strike on the same day.

Teachers and education workers picketed at schools and other sites across the province, but the largest demonstration by far happened at the provincial legislature in Toronto.

Teachers from all four unions are bitterly opposed to the government’s plan for higher class sizes and mandatory e-learning courses.

On the money front, all of the teachers’ unions are asking for around two per cent in annual salary increases, while the government is offering one per cent.

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