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Peterborough and area Catholic schools to close Monday if CUPE employees go on strike

Vacant desks are pictured at the front of an empty classroom is pictured at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver on Sept. 5, 2014.
Catholic schools will be closed Monday in the event of a strike by CUPE. The Canadian Press

The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board says its schools will close Monday if there is a strike by support workers.

The board issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, noting it employs about 800 Canadian Union of Public Union Employees (CUPE) who could be off the job including educational assistants, support staff, custodians, maintenance staff, secretaries, early childhood educators, IT employees, learning commons specialists and more.

READ MORE: Peterborough school boards prepare for strike by support workers next Monday

The school board has more than 15,000 students in central Ontario.

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On Wednesday, CUPE said it would begin full strike action on Monday. However, it says it is returning to the bargaining table with the province on Friday afternoon.

“The board has determined that we cannot safely operate our schools for students during a full CUPE strike,” a release states.

Click to play video: 'CUPE representatives outline aims of previous work-to-rule action' CUPE representatives outline aims of previous work-to-rule action
CUPE representatives outline aims of previous work-to-rule action – Oct 2, 2019

“The board has made the difficult decision to close schools for students in the event of a strike after assessing a number of factors including the board’s ability to offer special education programming, provide adequate supervision, follow safe arrival processes and maintain safe and secure learning environments.”

The board says it is encouraging families to make alternate child care arrangements for next week.

“We understand that we are entering a time of great disruption for our students, families and staff,” stated board director of education Michael Nasello. “We remain hopeful that a fair and respectful collective
agreement can be reached as soon as possible.”

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More to come.

Click to play video: '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 – Oct 2, 2019

 

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