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UCDSB, CDSBEO announce plans to close all schools in event of CUPE strike

With the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) planning to strike on Friday, school boards are outlining their plans.

The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) and Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) both plan to close all their schools on Friday if the strike happens, according to the boards’ websites.

CDSBEO staff say students will be able to learn remotely that day via Brightspace, an online education platform.

“We will provide a survey to parents/guardians to determine their technology needs and distribute technology for those who require it,” an announcement from the board reads. “We will also provide some technical support but ask for patience as most board technology staff would not be available due to strike action.”

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In an announcement, the UCDSB says staff members are working to prepare for remote learning in case the strike happens, and urging parents to plan around their kids being at home Friday.

“As the situation is rapidly changing, we encourage families to begin to make alternative child care arrangements,” it says. “Once we know about the operational status of schools for Friday, November 4th, we will let families know.”

Earlier Monday, the Ford government introduced legislation that would impose a four-year contract on the workers that include custodians, teacher’s aides and clerical workers.  The bill uses the notwithstanding clause, a rarely-used measure that exempts it from the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  MPPs are now debating the bill with hopes of it passing by Thursday.

The deal offered by the province included a 2.5 per cent increase annually to employees making less than $43,000 a year and a 1.5 per cent increase to everyone else.  CUPE is demanding an 11.7 per cent increase among other things.

You can read the full announcements on the UCDSB and CDSBEO websites.

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