All Catholic schools in Ottawa to close Monday if CUPE strikes, public board to remain open

Parents of students react to possible strike of Ontario education workers
Just a few days into a work-to-rule campaign, CUPE has given a legal five-day notice that 55,000 education workers in Ontario could strike come Monday. Erica Vella has reactions from parents about the possible job action.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board said it will close all of its schools if members of CUPE go on strike on Monday.

According to the board, this decision was made due to the sheer number of board employees who are represented by CUPE.

Bracing for strike by Ontario CUPE education workers
Bracing for strike by Ontario CUPE education workers

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

“This decision came about following careful deliberation. CUPE represents approximately 1,300 full-time employees and nearly 1,000 casual workers in the Ottawa Catholic School Board,” the board said in a statement on Thursday.

“We did not feel we could safely operate our schools without their services.”

According to the board, educational assistants (EAs), early childcare educators (ECEs), office administrators (OAs), library technicians, learning technology technicians, full-time adult ESL Instructors and some central board staff are represented by CUPE.

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Should the strike commence on Monday, all transportation to the schools will be cancelled and the school buildings will be closed.

READ MORE: Ontario education worker strike introduces ‘wild card’ to federal campaign: experts

Parents will be notified Sunday evening of any potential closures.

The city’s public board, OCDSB, says schools will remain open should strike action occur on Monday as they do not have any CUPE bargaining units at the board.