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Labour Update

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022

On Wednesday, we advised you that the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), issued a strike notice that means, if an agreement is not reached between the Province and CUPE, CUPE will go on strike beginning Monday, November 21.

If this strike occurs, all Grand Erie schools will be closed to students, and we will move to full (synchronous) remote learning for all students.

We know this is not welcome news, and we understand the impact this will have on families. Without CUPE workers in our schools, we could not ensure safe conditions for students. The decision to close schools to students is a difficult one but required for overall student safety and security.

Negotiations will continue through the weekend between CUPE and the Province, and our hope is that they reach an agreement and disruption for students and families is avoided. We will provide further updates as more information becomes available. We will also provide updates on the Grand Erie website (www.granderie.ca), and social channels (Facebook: Grand Erie District School Board, Twitter: @GEDSB)
 

Why are you closing schools if teachers are not on strike?

CUPE represents more than 920 school board staff, including Educational Assistants, Communicative Disorder Assistants, Food Technicians, Clerical (school and central board staff), Library technicians, Information Technology staff, Custodial and Maintenance. They play a vital, daily role supporting student success, safety and the effective operations of our schools and facilities.
 

If there is a strike

All Grand Erie schools will move to full (synchronous) remote learning. Educators will reach out to their students with information on access and timing to participate in remote learning.

A strike will not impact ongoing virtual or elearning instruction, or programs that are run out of facilities other than Grand Erie schools, including students who participate in off-site learning programs through GELA, NATIONS/New Start programs, or employer-based co-op programs.

Prior to the move to remote learning, please make sure any necessary items your child(ren) may have at school (personal items, medication, etc.) are taken home.
 

If you/your child needs a device for online learning

We have the results of a survey recently shared with families to understand technology needs. Staff are working to get that information and devices to our schools. Families will be able to pick up needed devices at their school on Friday afternoon, November 18. Please note, at this time we are able to provide one device (if needed) per family. For students that require SEA technology, these will also be sent home. Families who requested a device for internet connectivity will be contacted by the school when they arrive mid next week.

Your school will reach out to you directly with more details about distribution of devices.
 

What about childcare or before/after care?

The closing of our schools also means that before and aftercare at school facilities will be closed as well, along with EarlyON centres. Childcare centres will likely remain open; however, parents/caregivers should contact their childcare centre directly for more up-to-date information.
 

Why are some of my friends’/relatives’ children still attending school?

Some school boards have few or no CUPE staff. Grand Erie has 920, and without CUPE workers in our schools, we could not ensure safe conditions for students. We could not be sure of supervision and support for all students, safe operation of water and sanitation systems, or clean conditions in our schools. The decision to close schools to students is a difficult one but required for overall student safety and security.

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