CUPE withdrawal of services will see school closures continue next week

Picketers in support of CUPE education workers on Princess Street near Bath Road on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. Photo by Phillip Stafford/Kingstonist.

The closure of most schools in the Kingston area will continue next week, if the full withdrawal of services by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in the education sector continues.

On Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, education workers walked off the job, after talks between the provincial government and the union broke down on Thursday, and despite a government bill that invoked the notwithstanding clause to impose a mandatory contract on provincial education workers.

Schools in the Kingston area were closed Friday and many people took to the street to picket and show support for the education workers. Both the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) and the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) closed schools on Friday, and said they will pivot to remote learning if the strike continues.

“In the case that a full withdrawal of services by CUPE members should continue into the week of November 7, all ALCDSB schools will remain closed to students and all students will begin asynchronous online learning until further notice, ” the catholic school board told Kingstonist in an email.

Jane Douglas, Communications Consultant for LDSB, responded to Kingstonist’s requests regarding strike contingency plans.

“Currently, it appears a full withdrawal of services by CUPE staff will extend into the start of next week at minimum. Given these circumstances, we anticipate LDSB schools and buildings will remain closed to students and the public for Monday, November 7.”

Both school boards are asking parents to continue to monitor their emails and school and board websites for updates.

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