Tens of thousands of education workers in Ontario have started a work-to-rule campaign Monday after last-minute contract talks failed.
The job action involves 55,000 workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), including custodians, clerical workers, librarians, food service workers, and early childhood educators.
Beginning Monday, those employees will be withdrawing services that could affect cleaning and garbage removal at all schools, as well as cafeteria food services at high schools.
As part of the job action, custodial and maintenance employees will no longer be working overtime or performing extra duties.
While this affects publicly funded schools across the province, the impact is already being felt in Sault Ste. Marie.
Parents with children enrolled in schools within the Algoma District School Board (ADSB) have been advised that there may be limited or no cafeteria food services available at local secondary schools. This means students may have to find alternative plans for lunch.
The school board is also asking parents to ensure students’ lunches are garbage-free or with minimal packaging to help limit the amount of garbage being disposed on school property.
In a news release sent out Sunday night, ADSB said despite the job action, student safety is top of mind:
"Our priorities during job action are to maintain the safety and well-being of students and the delivery of classroom instruction."
ADSB said updates will be posted to their website, outlining which services are impacted.
The province failed to reach a deal with CUPE during last-minute discussions over the weekend.
Contracts for Ontario’s public school teachers and education workers expired August 31, and the major unions are in various stages of bargaining.
In a document obtained by CTV News from CUPE officials, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions lists Work-to-Rule Phase 1 Instructions:
CTV News is following this developing story and will have updates as they transpire.