Local school boards ponder possible CUPE strike on Monday
CUPE has turned up the heat on their contract negotiations.
Just three days after launching their work to rule campaign the union, representing 55,000 education workers, are now threatening a full blown strike next Monday.
In a news release issued Wednesday night, the union said that talks are scheduled to resume with the province and the school boards on Friday afternoon and that the union is willing to "bargain throughout the weekend in an effort to avoid the disruption that a full strike would bring to students, families and schools."
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce had urged a resumption of talks and says the two sides weren’t far apart when they spoke on Sunday.
“We were close and I believe we can get a deal.”
He downplayed the union’s threat of going on strike calling it “deadline bargaining.”
“We should really expend that energy at the table this week to get a deal.”
The Bluewater board says they plan, as of right now, to keep the schools open on Monday but should circumstances change that could affect the health and safety of students and staff, they will review their decision.
CUPE represents more than 150 custodial staff at public schools in the region.
Meanwhile the Bruce Grey Catholic board says they expect to make a decision on Friday on whether schools will remain open.
In the meantime they're encouraging parents to have a plan B in their back pocket next week .. just in case.
CUPE represents more than 250 staff at their schools including clerical and custodial staff as well as E-A's and early childhood educators.
Here is the statement from the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board ~
We have been notified by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) that CUPE will be escalating strike action to a full withdrawal of services on Monday, October 7, 2019.
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).
As we work through our plans for the safety of students and staff please check the “CUPE Work Action Update” section of the board web page for the most recent updates.
At this time, parents and guardians should be considering alternate childcare arrangements for next week, as the decision around school closures is yet to be determined.
This also includes before and after school programs.
The Brockton Child Care and Wooden Hill Child Care Centres will remain open.
All Elementary and Secondary Schools remain open for the rest of this week (September 30 - October 4).
By the end of the day Friday, October 4, 2019, we will be advising students, parents and staff as to the status of schools for Monday, October 7, 2019.
In the event that there is a settlement over the weekend, schools will operate as per the regular schedule.
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. We still remain hopeful and pray that a settlement can be reached before Monday morning.