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RC Board turns down arbitration, offers more talks

Contract negotiations may resume soon between the Thunder Bay Catholic District School board and its elementary teachers.
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(Leith Dunick,

The Thunder Bay branch of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association says the separate school board has now declined its offer of Dec. 23 to seek binding arbitration to achieve a new collective agreement.

There's no confirmation of that from the board, which issued a statement today saying only that it had responded directly to the teachers union in writing.

The statement also quoted Director of Education Pino Tassone as saying the board "will continue to negotiate in good faith and in the best interests of our students and staff."

Local OECTA President Aldo Grillo had said Monday that "the perspective of an independent third party" would provide a fair resolution to the dispute.

According to Grillo, in its response today the board offered to return to the bargaining table, and he said the two parties are in discussions about when that might happen.

The teachers have been working to rule since last June.