LDCSB will close schools if education workers strike

Parents with children at Catholic schools in the London area have been told to prepare for their children’s return home next week.

The London District Catholic Schools Board (LDCSB) says it will keep all schools closed if Ontario’s 55,000 educators go on strike Monday. Students will move to online learning. Remote learning will be asynchronous, meaning classes will not be delivered in real time and students will work independently at their own pace.

Since Friday is PA Day, the board recommends that students bring home all personal items, eyeglasses, medications, textbooks, and musical instruments on Thursday.

If strike action is taken, the board will also close or cancel all daycare centers, before and after school programs, community use of schools, St. Patrick’s adult and continuing education, family centers, co-op placements, after school tutoring, and international language programs.

“CUPE represents approximately 1,300 of LDCSB’s 3,500 staff including educational assistants, designated early childhood educators, school office staff, custodial and maintenance staff, IT support staff, etc. We cannot operate safely with so many staff absent schools,” the board said in a statement.

The Canadian Union of Public Servants (CUPE), which represents educators, filed a five-day strike notice Wednesday, indicating its members will join the picket line if a labor deal is not reached with the province. The two sides will hold more talks throughout the weekend. Educators last went on strike on Nov. 4, but they’re back in classrooms four days later after Premier Doug Ford promised to repeal controversial legislation that used the nonetheless clause to impose contracts and put strikes on strike. made illegal.

While some middle ground has been reached on worker wages since then, the union wants to put an early childhood educator in every kindergarten classroom and hire more educational assistants, librarians, custodians and maintenance workers , to better support students and address a $16 billion problem repair backlog.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province provided $335 million over four years for CUPE workers alone.

“Our government honored our agreement by making offers of significant improvement. CUPE rejected all of these offers,” Lecce said. “They have so casually put the province on strike again.

The Thames Valley Regional Education Board has yet to announce its plans for pupils in response to the educators’ strike.

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