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London schools remain open as CUPE strike averted

Lord Roberts Public School on Princess Avenue is one of hundreds of schools that was set to close Monday if a strike from CUPE members had occurred. .
Lord Roberts Public School on Princess Avenue is one of hundreds of schools that was set to close Monday if a strike from CUPE members had occurred. . Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Schools in London will open as usual on Monday after the Ontario government and the union representing education workers struck a last-minute deal over the weekend.

The threat of a strike from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and its 55,000 members had cast a large shadow over the contract negotiations and left many parents scrambling to make childcare arrangements in the wake of the impending job action, which was expected to arrive on Monday.

READ MORE: CUPE education workers, Ontario government reach tentative deal to avoid strike

With the exception of Conseil scolaire Viamonde, all school boards in the London area announced last week that schools would be closed Monday if a strike occurred, with student safety being a common concern.

Just three hours before midnight on Sunday, a sense of relief washed over parents following an announcement from Education Minister Stephen Lecce saying a deal had been reached.

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“All parties bargained in good faith late into the night and over the weekend to reach a deal that is fair and that is reasonable,” Lecce said.

“I am pleased that students will be back in the class on Monday.”

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Ontario school boards, CUPE workers reach tentative deal avoiding strike
Ontario school boards, CUPE workers reach tentative deal avoiding strike

Soon after, the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), London District Catholic School Board (LDSCB) and Conseil scolaire catholique Providence took to Twitter to announce their schools would remain open on Monday in light of the deal.

A tweet from the TVDSB noted, however, that before-school programs would remain cancelled on Monday but after-school programs would return for students.

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READ MORE: London school boards to close schools Monday if CUPE education workers strike

A labour update from the LDCSB noted that Community Use of Schools programs remain cancelled along with the Elementary Cross-Country Meet.

Secondary school athletics remain unchanged, and all scheduled games will continue as planned, according to the LDCSB.