Bruce Grey Catholic school board to CLOSE schools on Monday
The Bruce Grey Catholic District School board says it has no choice but close schools on Monday in the wake of a threat by CUPE for a full blown strike next week.
Talks are to resume today and continue through the weekend between the union and the provincial government to avert a walk out.
Here is the school board's statement issued Friday morning ~
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has announced a full withdrawal of service to go into effect this Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 unless a full negotiated settlement is reached prior to that date.
For the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, this withdrawal of service will include our Educational Assistants, Custodians, Secretaries, Early Childhood Educators, Librarians, and CUPE staff at our Catholic Education Centre.
This comprises approximately 250 permanent and casual employees (about 45% of our staff).
The Board has determined that we cannot safely operate our schools for students during a full CUPE strike.
As such, all 13 Secondary and Elementary Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board schools will be closed to students as of Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 unless a new central agreement between CUPE, the Government of Ontario and the trustee associations has been reached.
While we remain hopeful that negotiations this weekend will be successful and a strike can be averted, we encourage families to make alternate child care arrangements for next week, beginning Monday.
Please check the “CUPE Work Action Update” section of the board web page (https://bit.ly/2n1C1pH ) for regular updates.
The before and after school programs will be closed as well.
The Brockton Child Care and Wooden Hill Child Care Centres will remain open.
The Board has made the very difficult decision to close schools to students in the event of a strike after assessing the safety risks for our students.
Unlike other boards who have one or no employee groups that are represented by CUPE, in our board our school-based support staff is made up entirely of CUPE members.
With so many CUPE members who could be away on strike, we have examined the risk to student safety and have determined we will need to close our schools.
Safety for all remains the Board’s primary concern and was the predominant factor that was considered in making this decision.
We very much appreciate your understanding and thank you for your ongoing commitment to Catholic education.
As circumstances change we will continue to communicate with you.
Again, we still remain hopeful and pray that a settlement can be reached before Monday morning.