Teacher lockout could happen Monday

By Standard Staff

With a lockout deadline set for Monday, Catholic school board and union representatives spent two more long days working to reach a new contract for 800 elementary teachers.

Marie Balanowski, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) Niagara Elementary Unit, said negotiations recessed around 11:47 p.m. on Thursday, and resumed again Friday morning.


An update posted on the Niagara Catholic District School Board website at 12:30 a.m., Friday says the two sides were continuing to negotiate with the assistance of a provincially appointed mediator.


The board’s latest update says information will be provided to families of elementary students through the board’s electronic communication system as well as the website, prior to Monday’s deadline.


The two sides were still in negotiations as of Friday afternoon.


In a story about the negotiations published last week, board chair Rev. Paul MacNeil said the board has a 60-page contingency plan that will be enacted if a lock out does occur.


He said the board’s top priority is the safety of the board’s 14,700 elementary students, while keeping it “minimally disruptive.”


Although no curriculum-based classes will be taught if a lockout does occur, the schools will remain open.


The board also asked parents to make alternative arrangements for day care, if possible.