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Simcoe, Muskoka Catholic schools to close if CUPE education workers strike

Catholic schools in Simcoe and Muskoka are set to close on Monday if CUPE education workers go on strike.
Catholic schools in Simcoe and Muskoka are set to close on Monday if CUPE education workers go on strike. Getty Images

Catholic schools in Simcoe and Muskoka will close if education workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) move forward with a strike on Monday.

“The health and safety of our students and staff must always be our main priority,” Brian Beal, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board’s (SMCDSB) education director, said in a letter to parents and guardians on Friday.

“After much careful consideration, we have determined that in the best interest of student safety, the cancellation of classes is the most appropriate course of action.”

READ MORE: Simcoe County public schools to remain open amid potential looming CUPE strike

CUPE, which represents 55,000 custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators, has announced its intention to proceed with a full strike in Ontario on Monday.

The SMCDSB’s closures would include the cancellation of before- and after-school care at any of its schools.

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“We do remain hopeful that a negotiated settlement is reached this weekend and that a strike is averted,” Beal said in the letter.

READ MORE: Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Muskoka public schools to close if CUPE workers strike — board

The SMCDSB’s custodial staff are represented by CUPE.

Beal said parents should check the school board’s website for any updates.

Further negotiations are scheduled to begin between the union and the province on Friday afternoon.

Concerned parents in Ontario react to potential education workers strike
Concerned parents in Ontario react to potential education workers strike