KAWARTHA LAKES-The Trillium Lakelands District School Board says all schools within its jurisdiction will be closed on Friday due to a planned province-wide protest by CUPE.
On October 31, the government of Ontario announced Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022 to preemptively keep staff in schools. Shortly after this release, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced their intent to proceed with a province-wide protest, which means that no CUPE member will be at work on Friday, November 4. As a result, Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) says it has no other option but to close all schools to students on that day.
“The CUPE members at TLDSB are vital to supporting student supervision and safety. Without these individuals, TLDSB cannot safely operate schools for students,” said Director of Education Wes Hahn in an email to families. “In TLDSB, CUPE members include secretaries, clerks, computer technicians, custodial and maintenance staff, and educational assistants. These individuals are vital to maintaining the safe operation of our buildings and various sites. 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, may be able to keep their schools open.”
The board has also reversed a previous decision to a proceed with asynchronous learning on Friday. There will be no asynchronous learning on Friday to allow teachers and designated early childhood educators time to prepare for student learning next week. Students are encouraged to work on previously assigned projects, assignments, and independent work on Friday.
“We understand that this can be very frustrating for families and hope that a provincial agreement with CUPE is reached very soon. We value our CUPE staff and continue to be hopeful that a resolution is made quickly so that students can be back in class. We will continue to communicate with our families on labour relations updates.” said Hahn.
All schools in the Catholic board will also be closed.