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Kingston-area school boards warn of potential school closures amid strike threat

Local school boards in the Kingston area have announced that some schools may be closed if a CUPE strike begins on Monday.
Local school boards in the Kingston area have announced that some schools may be closed if a CUPE strike begins on Monday. Global Kingston

Both local Kingston school boards are now warning that some schools could be forced to close as early as Monday as the strike by education workers looms.

Tens of thousands of workers began a work-to-rule campaign last Monday as confusion mounted about when their union and the government would go back to the bargaining table.

Then on Wednesday, CUPE said their 55,000 members are set to hit the picket lines next week unless they can reach and agreement with the province by Sunday.

The union has stated job security is a key issue in the contract negotiation. It represents educational assistants, custodians, maintenance staff and early childhood education workers.

READ MORE: Ontario education workers announce full strike action to begin Monday

Now that strike action has been announced, both the Limestone District School Board and the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board have posted advisories on their websites warning that schools could close if student safety is at risk.

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Reasons for closures include appropriate supervision, medical supports and care, safe operation of water and sanitation systems and conditions of school buildings and classrooms.

“We are actively monitoring this fluid situation,” the news release from the Limestone District School Board read.

“We will continue to communicate decisions and implications for our schools, students, families and staff in as timely a manner as possible.”

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The Algonquin District Catholic School Board said they will be sending a letter home with students on Friday with more information about the board’s decisions on closures.

WATCH: Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce speaks with Global News one-on-one

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce speaks with Global News one-on-one
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce speaks with Global News one-on-one

“Such a decision is complex but we will always put the safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our priorities and decision making,” the Algonquin District School Board news release read.

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—With files from Jessica Patton.