An impending CUPE Strike is causing Ontario school boards to announce plans to close on October 7, 2019. An estimated 55,000 office staff, school custodians, educational assistants, and early childhood educators will walk out next week for the Ontario CUPE strike unless Premier Doug Ford’s government agrees to negotiate. Most of the school boards had initially planned to keep their doors open during the strike. However, a growing number of them have since announced their plans to close schools.
UPDATE: Toronto District School Board
The TDSB, Canada's largest school board which serves nearly 250,000 students, confirmed on the afternoon of October 3 that it will also close all schools on Monday in the event of a strike. "We cannot guarantee that our learning environments will remain safe and clean for all students," said the TDSB in a letter to parents which was quoted by CBC. "This is not a decision that we made lightly, and we have explored every possible contingency plan to keep schools open."
EARLIER: Peel District School Board
The Peel District School Board announced on October 3 that it will be closing all of its schools if the CUPE strike is not called off before then. "All Peel board schools will be closed to students beginning Monday, Oct. 7. If there are any changes, we will communicate on our social media channels, websites, and families directly," read a statement by the board.
York Region District School Board
The York Region District School Board released on a statement on Twitter on October 3, stating that will close their facilities to students if the CUPE strike proceeded. "Please make alternate arrangements for your children beginning Monday, October 7, 2019," the school board warned.
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Ottawa Catholic School Board students will get the day off on October 7 if the CUPE strike proceeds. The board sent out an advisory to parents warning that all of its schools will be closed as a result of the protest.
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Waterloo's Catholic District School Board was the first board to announce that it would be shutting down as a result of the impending CUPE strikes. “This morning, we received notice that a full CUPE strike may commence on Monday, October 7th, if an agreement is not reached this weekend. If the strike proceeds, this will mean CUPE members will not report to work."
Trillium Lakelands District School Board
The Trillium Lakelands District School Board released a statement on October 3. "The looming potential full strike by CUPE workers would result in school closures come Monday." Parents and students are being advised to make alternate arrangements in anticipation of the widespread walkout.
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District Board initially announced that it "hoped" to keep its doors open during the CUPE strike. However, it is now warning parents that it will be forced to close its doors if the strike is not cancelled by October 6, 2019.
The recent changes set in place by the provincial government have sparked protests by CUPE. Increased class sizes, slashed teaching positions and greater shifts towards online learning are just a few of the issues on the table.