Toronto's schools will be closed to students starting Monday if education workers strike

Oct 3 2019, 12:30 pm

The Toronto District School Board will be closing on Monday if the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) strike.

The school board said that CUPE’s members will take further job action on October 7, if a new collective agreement is not reached through negotiations with the province and the Council of Trustees Associations.

“The new job action will be a full withdrawal of services, which is otherwise known as a strike or a walk-out,” reads a statement by the TDSB. “Over 18,000 employees will not be at work for the duration of the strike, which is almost half of the Toronto District School Board’s employees.”

The board added that most of these employees work in schools.

“If this job action commences as scheduled, the board will close all schools for all students on Monday, October 7, 2019, and for the duration of the job action,” said the school board. “While we understand that this is a challenging time, parents will be required to make alternate arrangements for their children.”

The Toronto District School Board goes on to say that this was not a decision that they made lightly and had explored every possible contingency plan to keep schools open.

They said that they could not guarantee that the learning environments would remain safe and clean for all students.

According to the TDS, employees, who are members of CUPE, provide critical daily services, including (but not limited to): building and school ground safety and security, lunchroom supervision, educational support in full-day kindergarten classrooms, supervision and support for students with special needs, safe water checks, and washroom and water fountain cleaning.

During the job action, all non-CUPE employees will continue to report to work in schools and administrative centres.