tdsb strike

Toronto schools will close if CUPE goes on strike says TDSB

A CUPE Strike could force all Toronto schools to close next week according to a statement just released by the TDSB. 

It's looking like educational support staff in Ontario will begin striking as of Monday, and many school boards are announcing they'll be closing their doors if nothing changes before then.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union representing Ontario's 55,000 custodians, early childhood educators, educational assistants and office staff, has yet to reach an agreement through negotiations with the province and the Council of Trustees Associations. 

Among the CUPE's concerns are job security — as there have been hundreds of job losses this past year alone — as well as cuts to student services, paid sick days for staff, low salaries and more.

And since Lauren Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, said a work-to-rule campaign launched earlier this week hasn't led to a deal, a strike will most probably begin Monday. 

So far, the Peel, York and Toronto public boards have announced school closures for Monday if the strike does goes ahead. 

"If this job action commences as scheduled, the Board will close all schools for all students on Monday, October 7, 2019 and for the duration of the job action," according to a statement from the TDSB. 

"While we understand that this is a challenging time, parents/guardians will be required to make alternate arrangements for their children. This is not a decision that we made lightly and we have explored every possible contingency plan to keep schools open. Student supervision and safety are our top priorities and without the important services of these school-based employees, we cannot guarantee that our learning environments will remain safe and clean for all students."

A handful of other school boards across Ontario have also said they'll shut down. 

Talks are set to resume Friday, so there's still a chance the strike could be avoided and schools will remain open. 

But for parents who have to go to work Monday and have nowhere to leave their kids, it's not looking great.

Lead photo by

Terry Alexander


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