Local schools to close Friday due to CUPE job action

Schools across Ontario are making plans to address the full withdrawal of services from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, because of the legislation being tabled by the Provincial government (Keeping Students in Class Act).

In the Kingston area, both the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) and the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) have announced that schools will be closed on Friday, and will pivot to remote learning if the strike continues.

“Given the range of critical roles and services provided by CUPE members in Limestone, we cannot safely operate schools and offer in-person learning,” LDSB said in a statement on their website. “We have no choice but to close schools and pivot to emergency remote learning. More information about the remote learning format for different students will follow in the coming days. To start, this learning will have to be asynchronous, with educators posting assignments/tasks for students to complete.”

LDSB shared that CUPE Local 1480 represents Maintenance Workers, Courier Drivers, Caretakers, Office/Clerical Staff, Library Technicians, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), Educational Assistants (EAs), Interpreters, Intervenors, Intervention Assistants, Communicative Disorders Assistants, Finance Staff (Payroll, Accounting, Purchasing), ITS Staff (Administrators, Specialists, Technicians and Analysts), Educational Services Staff (Technician and Coordinator), and Outdoor Education Staff (coordinator, program manager).   

“Every effort will be made to remove barriers so that all students can fully participate in their learning during this time,” said David DeSantis, Director of Education for ALCDSB in a letter to families. “All teaching staff will be at school to prepare for emergency online learning in the event of further action and will be in contact with their students. All students currently enrolled in remote learning will continue classes as normal.”

ALCDSB also stated that in the event of a continued withdrawal of services, as of Monday, Nov. 7, 2022:

  • Asynchronous online learning will take place for all students
  • Co-operative Education and Dual Credit programming will continue to run
  • No extracurricular activities will be running on school property
  • All before or after school care programs will NOT be in operation at any ALCDSB school sites, for the duration of any job action
  • Technology will not be distributed at this time

“CUPE employees provide services that are central to the mission statement of our Board,” DeSantis continued. “The ALCDSB values the work of all its employees and their commitment to student safety.”

Both boards stated that families should continue to monitor emails and regular school and Board communication channels. 

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