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Limestone District schools to close if CUPE holds mass walkout this Friday

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Limestone Schools to close if CUPE holds mass walkout this Friday
WATCH: The Limestone District School Board says it cannot safely operate it's schools for in-person learning if CUPE members fully withdraw their services – Oct 31, 2022

Since the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) gave notice of a potential strike as early as this Friday, the Limestone District School Board has been preparing for the possibility that its 1,100 support staff workers will be on a picket line come Friday.

“In the event that there is a labour disruption on Friday at this point we are intending to close our schools and move to emergency remote learning,” said Superintendent of Human Resources for LDSB Susan McWilliams.

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She said because of the broad spectrum of jobs the support workers do, schools would not be able to open without them.

“They are… all of our support staff that are critical to running our schools, so without them it is very challenging to keep our schools in a safe and healthy manner,” she added.

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The provincial government has introduced legislation to prevent a strike and simultaneously CUPE has announced a mass walkout of its members on Friday, leaving parents like Michaela Olesova to deal with the fallout.

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“I really hope that it’s resolved soon for the sake of parents and also for the sake of ECEs and TAs who probably need that wage hike,” she said.

It’s not clear at this time whether CUPE will have more actions planned in the future, but the Limestone District School Board says that if there is a full withdrawal of support worker services this Friday, schools will be closed to both students and any other public use.

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