KAWARTHA LAKES-Schools in the City of Kawartha Lakes and across the Trillium Lakelands District School Board will close on Friday if CUPE members go on strike.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has given notice that their members may be in strike action (full withdrawal of services) across the province of Ontario if their agreement is not reached by Friday, November 4. Leading up to this day, there will be three days of mediation between the Ontario government and CUPE.
While Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) is not directly involved in the provincial negotiations n TLDSB, CUPE members include secretaries, clerks, technicians, custodial and maintenance staff, and educational assistants according to the board.
“These members are critical in keeping our school buildings and sites safe for students, not only for the cleanliness of our buildings, but for the support students receive each day. We respect and value our CUPE staff and are hopeful an agreement is met before the end of the week.” said Director Of Education Wes Hahn in a letter to parents on Monday.
“For the safety of our students, should there be a strike on Friday, November 4, our school buildings and Board sites will be closed to students, but will remain open to administrators, designated early childhood educators, teachers, and non-striking staff. Without our CUPE staff, we cannot safely operate TLDSB schools for students. It is important to note that other school boards across the province may have different or fewer employee groups as part of CUPE, and therefore, would be able to keep their schools open.”
Officials say in the event of a full strike of CUPE staff on Friday, November 4, all student programming will move online with teachers providing asynchronous learning through their online classroom (SeeSaw, Google Classroom, or Brightspace) and have the opportunity to connect with their teacher to receive support. It is recommended that parents/guardians make alternative child care arrangements for their child(ren) beginning Friday, November 4, should it be required.
“We appreciate that timely communication is important to you, and we are committed to providing you with additional details on the CUPE labour action and any impact it may have on school operations as soon as we can. We continue to remain hopeful that an agreement is met and our students will remain in class. Thank you for your support during this time and understanding that our students’ safety is our priority.” said Hahn.