Schools under the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board will be closed Monday in the event of a strike by CUPE employees.
Late Thursday afternoon, the public school board sent out an update to parents that schools will be closed to students if a provincial agreement is not reached over the weekend with CUPE members. The announcement came shortly after the Peterborough Victorian Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board stated it would close its schools in the event of a CUPE labour stoppage.
In a joint statement, Board Chairperson Diane Lloyd and Director of Education Jennifer Leclerc said they share parents’ concerns and disappointment with the possibility of a strike and wanted to give parents time to make alternative arrangements for students, if needed.
The school board – headquartered in Peterborough – has 73 elementary schools, 13 secondary schools and three adult learning centres throughout central Ontario, serving more than 32,000 students and staff in Peterborough, Peterborough County, Northumberland County and the Municipality of Clarington.
This decision has been made because we do not believe we can provide safe and secure learning environments for all students in the event of a full CUPE strike,” they stated.
Among the considerations included:
- Supervision of students
- Medical supports and care for all students
- Safe operation of water and sanitation systems, including legislated water flushing
- conditions of school buildings and classrooms
- Safety and security.
CUPE and the province are scheduled to resume negotiations on Friday.
“We remain hopeful that a provincial agreement can be reached this weekend to avert disruption to our students and families,” the release states.
The school board will provide updates to parents about the status for schools on Monday, likely on Sunday evening.