UPDATE (Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019): This article has now been
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) of Ontario voted in favour of taking job action this morning, which will begin across the province next week.
The CUPE vote took place on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, and will directly impact local schools within both the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB). According to a statement released on social media by the LDSB, CUPE members within the board include custodians, maintenance staff, office administrators, clerical staff, early childhood educators, educational assistants, and information technology technicians.
“At this time, LDSB staff are reviewing the job action directive from CUPE provincial to members to determine the impact these will have on schools, to learning, and working,” the LDSB said on Twitter.
According to the LDSB, all schools will remain open to staff and students during the job action, meaning that all teaching and learning will continue, according to Karen Smith, media relations officer with the Board.
The ALCDSB also confirmed their schools will be impacted. Their schools will also remain open through the job action, according to Jessica Salmon, media relations officer with that Board. The following is a letter to parents from David Desantis, Director of Education for the ALCDSB:
I am writing to you today to make you aware of an announcement from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). On Wednesday, September 25, CUPE confirmed that job action will begin across the province on Monday, September 30. This is a “work to rule” and all staff will still report to their work sites for their regular work hours. This is a province wide job action affecting school boards across Ontario.
Within the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board that includes positions such as: custodians, maintenance staff, school and board office based clerical, educational assistants, early childhood educators, information technology technicians and youth workers.
At this time, our schools remain open; however, all employees who are represented by CUPE will be participating in job action which may have an impact in our schools.
At all times, student safety and learning will remain our priority. Administration will work to ensure that the safety and supervision of our students is not compromised during this time.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board will continue to monitor this job action closely and will provide parents and guardians with updates and information via board and school websites and social media.
We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time. If you have any questions, please contact your school principal.David DeSantis, Director of Education
Additionally, the local schools with in the French Catholic School Board, Conseil des Ecoles Catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) will be impacted, but will also remain open, according to a released from CECCE.
According to a release issued by CUPE Ontario, representatives issued the required five days’ notice that puts them in a legal strike position on Monday, Sept. 30.
“The countless hours of services and supports lost to Ontario students because of Ford government cuts are the focus of job action announced today by education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE),” the union said in the release.
“We’ve always said that any job action we take will have at its heart the protection of education services for students,” said Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), which bargains centrally on behalf of the union’s 55,000 education workers.
“This year we’ve seen those services decimated: school libraries closed over students’ lunch breaks because there aren’t enough library workers; school cleaning cut to the point that custodians are told they can only vacuum kindergarten classrooms once a week; eight or nine students with special needs now supported by a single education assistant; communications with parents affected because some schools have lost their school secretaries,” Walton continued.
“If it takes job action to restore these services, then so be it. This is something worth fighting for.”
Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and update this article as information becomes available.