DEAL REACHED - All schools across Grey Bruce to be open Monday morning

cjos classroom

Classes will resume Monday morning at all schools across Grey Bruce after CUPE reached a tentative deal with the province late Sunday night. 

Locally, the Bruce Grey Catholic District School board had announced it would be forced to close its schools if the strike went ahead as threatened last week.  

There are 250 employees with the board represented by CUPE including clerical and custodial staff as well as E-A's and early chilhood educators. 

The board says that represents about 45% of their entire staff and there's no way they'd be able to open schools in the wake of a walk out.  

The following message was posted to the Bruce Grey Catholic District School board website Sunday night ~ 

The Province of Ontario, The Trustees Association and CUPE have successfully reached a tentative agreement. Therefore, there will be no strike tomorrow and all Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board schools will be open on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 and all programs will run as per our usual schedule.

The board issued the following statement Monday morning at 10am 

The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board is very happy that a collective agreement was reached and a strike has been averted.

Bev Eckensweiler, Chair of the Board, and Director of Education, Gary O’Donnell, were pleased to share the good news. “The tentative agreement ensures that students in our Catholic schools throughout the District can remain in class, and the dedicated CUPE staff who serve them will be able to continue with the important work they do in supporting our students.”

We wish to express to our students, families and staff our gratitude for their patience and understanding during these challenging times.

All school buses, programs, community use permits, athletic teams and school clubs will be up and running as per their usual schedules.

Meanwhile the Bluewater District School Board had said they would be able to open their schools on Monday but would have to take the situation day by day. 

There are more than 150 custodial staff represented by CUPE with the public board. 

Education Minister Stephen Lecce and the bargaining unit for the Canadian Union of Public Employees announced the deal just hours before a midnight strike deadline.

"All parties bargained in good faith late into the night and over the weekend to reach a deal that is fair and that is reasonable," Lecce said, acknowledging that he would have preferred to have done it sooner.

The agreement comes after weeks of tense contract talks between the government, union and school boards.

In the days leading up to the agreement, CUPE launched a work-to-rule job action and stopped performing a number of extra duties or working overtime to ramp up pressure.

Last week, the union issued a formal strike notice.

Neither Lecce nor CUPE went into the details of the accord, but the minister praised it.

"We can all leave this deal knowing we've achieved some incremental success, and that is important for the students of this province," he said.

Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on the tentative agreement.

"Throughout this process our goal has been to establish agreements that respect taxpayers, students and families, while also recognizing the important contributions of our front-line education workers. Our government worked tirelessly at the bargaining table to achieve this goal and as a result two million students will remain in the classroom where they belong.

On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am proud of the work Minister Lecce has done to achieve our goals and we will continue to negotiate in good faith with all of our bargaining partners."



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