York police urge parents to call schools after students reported missing

Oct 7 2019, 11:33 am

York Regional Police are urging parents who kept their kids home from school in anticipation of Monday’s strike to call the school and report their child as absent.

Police said they received a large number of calls from schools on Monday to report missing children.

Education workers had threatened to walk off the job on Monday if they didn’t reach a deal with the provincial government, which lead to a number of school boards saying they would close if the strike went through. This included schools in the York Region.

Police say they are notified as part of the “Safe Arrival Program,” which is implemented when a child doesn’t show up to school and the parents/guardians have not called in.

When this occurs, the school will attempt to call them and if they can’t be reached, the next call is to the police. If parents and guardians can’t be reached, officers will be dispatched to find the children.

After days of negotiating, schools remained open on Monday, as CUPE and the provincial government reached a tentative settlement.

Just after 9 pm on Sunday evening, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) announced that the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the provincial government have negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.

“All the parties worked hard together at the table to reach a fair and responsible agreement that will keep students in the classroom,” said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham in a statement.

“Education workers play an important role in our schools, and this agreement is a recognition that we value the contribution they make to the educational experience of our students every day.”

The OPSBA said the details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties, and that CUPE has agreed to stop all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal.