The majority of schools in Durham Region will be closed Monday if education workers go on strike.
The 55,000 CUPE members filed a five-day strike notice, which puts them in a legal strike position Monday. A strike will not happen if a deal is reached before then.
Previously, the workers walked off the job, despite provincial legislation banning them from doing so, after contract talks with the province broke down. The main issue at the time was wages. CUPE now says the wages issue has been resolved, but now they’re at odds with the government over staffing levels and bargaining talks broke down again.
School boards that operate schools in Durham are sharing their plans for Monday if the workers do strike.
The Durham District School Board will be closing its schools and is telling parents to prepare for schools to be shut down starting Monday for an “indefinite period.” You can read their latest statement by clicking here.
The Durham Catholic District School Board is also in the same position and are also recommending parents be ready to keep their children at home Monday. Their latest statement is here.
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board will close all of its schools as well, including those in Clarington, Monday. They say they will provide confirmation to staff and families about whether or not they will close schools Monday as soon as they are able to. Their full statement can be found here.
The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board will also close its schools Monday if there is a strike. Teachers will transition to synchronous learning and students will learn from home. The board’s latest update is here.
The French Catholic Board in Durham, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, says its schools will also be closed Monday in the event of a strike and students will transition to remote learning. The board provided Durham Radio News with a translated version of the letter sent to parents. It’s posted below:
November 16, 2022
Re: Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Strike Notice
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the custodial staff at Csc MonAvenir, issued a notice today that its members will be on general strike as of Monday, November 21, if no agreement is reached by then.
In the event of a CUPE strike, synchronous distance learning (live via Google Meet) will begin on Monday, November 21.
All students will continue learning from home, including high needs students.
– Students should not ride the school bus on Monday morning, November 21, 2022.
The transportation consortiums will have been informed that the students of Csc MonAvenir should not go to school.
– We are again sharing with you the Guide to using Google Classroom.
– Schools will provide technology tools as needed. If you need a Chromebook for your child, please contact the school.
– Attendance: Students will be deemed to be present unless you indicate otherwise.
Before and after school care will be cancelled.
For preschool services (infants, toddlers and preschoolers), child care services will be allowed to continue to operate.
Child care centres will contact parents directly if they decide not to provide service to preschool groups during the strike.
I thank you for your understanding and cooperation with these measures to ensure the continuity of learning for your children.
Sincerely yours, parents and guardians
The Director of Education,
Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir
You can find the French version here.
The public French school board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde has not said yet what they will do in the event of a strike.
All the school boards in Durham that did confirm they would have to close schools Monday said its because they would not be able to ensure students’ health and safety.