Ontario education workers to strike on Monday
Spencer Turcotte, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, October 2, 2019 10:34AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 3, 2019 6:39AM EDT
KITCHENER - The Canadian Union of Public Employees says education workers across Ontario will strike on Monday.
"This morning CUPE and OSBCU gave the legal five-day notice that our school board members will commence full-strike action on Monday, Oct. 7," says Laura Walton, president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions.
The decision comes from the bargaining team that has been negotiating on behalf of 55,000 education workers.
There are 1,100 employees with the CUPE local 2512 that will be a part of this job action from the Waterloo Catholic School Board.
If an agreement is not reached over the weekend, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board says it will be closing its schools on Monday because staff restrictions would prevent each school from operating safely.
"You're putting children in charge of school safety," said CUPE local 2512 president Joanne Delane-Fraser. "There's literally no other choice."
Ontario minister of education Stephen Lecce said the province is ready to make a deal, but the union says that's not the case.
"That was not true," said Delaney. "To the best of my knowledge there were no dates set."
Parent Leslie Shaw says she's not sure what to expect.
"Parents have to work whether the kids have school or not," she said.
A work-to-rule campaign began this week after the union said the parties could not reach an agreement at the bargaining table.
Custodians, education assistants, early childhood educators library technicians and administrative assistants are among the positions across the province that are impacted. Education workers have also stopped working overtime.
But locally, custodial staff are not union members so their positions won't be impacted within the catholic school board.
This strike will not impact the local public school board, as no Waterloo District School Board employees are members of the CUPE bargaining group.