Updated as of Oct. 4, 2019 

 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has announced a full withdrawal of service to go into effect this Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 unless a full negotiated settlement is reached prior to that date.

Given that our Board employs 800 CUPE members that provide critical services in all 36 of our schools and Board Office, we have made the difficult decision to close all schools to students in the event of a strike on Monday, Oct. 7.

We know we may be entering a time of great disruption for our students, families and staff and there is uncertainty about what may happen next. We hope the Q&A below can answer some of your questions.

 

Q –  When will we know if a strike will proceed and if schools will be open or closed on Monday, Oct. 7?

A – CUPE, the Government of Ontario and the school trustees’ associations are set to resume central bargaining this afternoon (Friday, Oct. 4, 2019). Negotiations may proceed well into the weekend.

We hope to be able to share an update by Sunday evening, however, there is the possibility that negotiations will continue late into the night. 

The Board will share information about the status of schools as soon as we can, communicating directly with parents/guardians via our School Messenger service and posting on our Board website – pvnccdsb.on.ca – and through the Board’s Twitter account @PVNCCDSB

We encourage parents to check these communications throughout Sunday and first thing Monday morning. 

If a settlement is reached, no matter how late that occurs Sunday night, PVNC schools will be open for students beginning Monday morning.

Q – If a strike proceeds and schools close to students, what happens to day-care services operating in the schools?

A – Should a strike proceed, effective Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, all Before and After School Programs will no longer be operating for the duration of a strike. 

Self-contained full-day Child Care programs, infant through to preschool, will be operating as per usual during a strike. For a full list of these programs, visit our Labour Relations page. 

Q – What is the status with teacher negotiations? What will teachers do during a CUPE strike?

A – The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, which represents elementary and secondary teachers in our Board, is currently engaged in the central bargaining process to reach a new collective agreement. 

Currently, OECTA is not in a legal strike position.

In the event of a CUPE strike Monday, Oct. 7, teachers would report to work in our schools as per usual.

Q – What is the status of Community Use of School permits? 

A – All Community Use of School Permits have been cancelled as of Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.

Q – How can I stay informed throughout the labour process? 

A – If you’re reading this Q&A, that means you’re in the right place. We will be keeping the Labour Relations section of our website up-to-date throughout the labour process. We encourage the public to follow us on Twitter @PVNCCDSB.

Parents and Guardians may also receive important communications through our schools and through the Board’s School Messenger system. 

 

Previous Q&A

Updated as of Sept. 30, 2019 

QI read in the media that the CUPE union is undergoing job action in Ontario schools. What does that mean? 

AAbout 55,000 Ontario school board support staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are currently exercising “work to rule” job action in Ontario schools.

Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board employs about 800 CUPE members in our Board, which represents support staff such as custodians, maintenance staff, secretaries, educational assistants, early childcare educators, learning commons specialists, paraprofessionals and central IT employees among others. 

During “work-to-rule” action, CUPE staff may not be completing additional duties beyond their normal responsibilities and members have removed some of the services that they normally perform during the regular school day.

We are hopeful a new central agreement with CUPE will be reached in the near future. 

Q – What impact will this have on schools?

A – All PVNC schools will remain open, and learning will be happening in our classrooms. We will be monitoring developments closely, and will review what can be done to assist our school communities during this time. 

Parents/guardians/visitors may see a decline in some cleaning activities (hallways, gymnasia), some extracurriculars may not be available during this time and there may be delays for visitors entering the school. 

We are asking our school communities to limit any unnecessary visits to our elementary schools, and when possible, to call ahead to arrange appointments or visits.

PVNC is working diligently to minimize any impact on our students and school communities. However, employees represented by CUPE provide many important services within our schools and board, and despite our best efforts, the withdrawal of these services will cause some disruption. 

Q – What happens if CUPE goes on full strike? 

A – In the unfortunate event that CUPE calls a full strike or a rotating strike, student and staff safety would continue to be our top priority in assessing whether schools can remain open.

The Director of Education would assess the Board’s ability to safely have students in schools and would take a number of factors into consideration such as the Board’s ability to offer special education programming, safe arrival processes (ie. following up on unreported absences at the school) and the ability to maintain a clean learning environment.

The Director would assess these factors in consultation with our system leaders and make a determination as to whether schools can safely remain open at that time. 

CUPE would be required to give five days notice if it was planning a strike, so we would have plenty of time to communicate that notice to parents/guardians. 

Q – How can I stay informed throughout the labour process? 

A – If you’re reading this Q&A, that means you’re in the right place. We will be keeping the Labour Relations section of our website up-to-date throughout the labour process. We encourage the public to follow us on Twitter @PVNCCDSB.

Parents and Guardians may also receive important communications through our schools and through the Board’s School Messenger system.