Schools open after late agreement averts strike action by CUPE

October 10, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Ontario schools will continue as normal after a tentative settlement was reached between the provincial government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). 

They hammered out a deal on Sunday, October 6, after going into negotiations over the weekend.

Several school boards had already planned to close schools on Monday if an agreement was reached. 

Other school boards were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to determine how they would proceed over the coming week.

The union represents 55,000 caretakers, educational assistants, early childhood educators and office staff. 

Locally, schools had planned to be open, however some activities were postponed on Monday in case the strike did happen.

After the agreement was reach on Sunday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced “Parents can rest easy knowing that the government worked tirelessly to secure their children remain in the classroom, where they belong. All parties can leave this deal with a sense of optimism.”

Details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties. 

CUPE has agreed to stop all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal.

New of a settlement came as a relief for many parents who faced uncertainty and were scrambling to find alternative care for their children if schools had been forced to close.

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association released a statement on Sunday announcing that a settlement had been reached.

“All the parties worked hard together at the table to reach a fair and responsible agreement that will keep students in the classroom,” said OPSBA president Cathy Abraham. “Education workers play an important role in our schools, and this agreement is a recognition that we value the contribution they make tot he education experience of our students every day. 

The Upper Grand District School Board posted an announcement on their website that an agreement had been reached and job action stopped. 

The Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board posted notices on their websites that all permits for community use of schools / facilities will resume as of Monday, October 7.

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