CUPE to walk out Monday if deal not reached, schools to close

  • November 17, 2022

With the union representing school support staff threatening to go on strike again beginning Monday, Catholic school boards in the Toronto area are preparing to close their doors for in-person learning.

Most boards are set to keep learning going remotely, however, beginning Nov. 21 when CUPE says it will withdraw the services of its members, which includes custodians, maintenance staff, school administrative assistants, clerical and technology staff, educational assistants and LINC/English as a Second Language instructors.

“To ensure the health, welfare and safety of our staff and students in the event of a full withdrawal of CUPE services, all TCDSB schools will be closed for in-person learning,” said the Toronto Catholic District School Board on its website. “Students will have access to remote synchronous learning during this time.”

Before and after school care will also be cancelled, and the Durham Catholic District School Board is recommending “parents and guardians have child care arrangements in place” for Monday and the duration of the strike.

The union is demanding higher wages and better benefits from the Ontario government. It filed a five-day strike notice Wednesday after talks with the government broke down.

CUPE forced the shutdown of schools earlier this month when it went on strike after the government of Premier Doug Ford indicated its intention to force a deal on its workers by using the notwithstanding clause. Ford pulled that option earlier this week when the union agreed to come back to the bargaining table. But negotiations broke down again Wednesday. 

To stay on top of the situation, parents are asked to keep an eye on their local board’s website.

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