Several school boards across Ontario have announced they will close schools on Friday, November 4, 2022 in anticipation of a planned walk-out by CUPE members.
Even though the province has proposed a back-to-work legislation that would force workers to agree to a 4-year contract, CUPE has still declared their intention to walk out on Friday despite the strike being illegal.
The controversial legislation—with a notwithstanding clause—is expected to pass at Queen's Park on Thursday.
Joining in solidarity, several school boards have announced that they will be shut for in-person learning on Friday. Here is a list of all them.
Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
TDSB has announced in an updated press release that it will close for in-person learning on Friday and stay shut for as long as education workers are on strike.
"Student supervision and safety are our top priorities and without the important services of nearly 15,000 CUPE employees, we cannot guarantee that our learning environments will remain safe and clean for all students," the board said to families.
Students will be given work to complete independently at home, the board added.
"Should the job action extend beyond Friday, more information will be shared."
Peel District School Board
The Peel District School Board has announced that all children will be participating in asynchronous learning on Friday and that teachers and remote staff will be available remotely to assist students.
Parents are being asked to stay connected and updated via the ParentConnect portal.
Toronto Catholic District School Board
In a follow-up to their letter to families on Oct. 30, TCDSB has now confirmed that if CUPE initiates a full withdrawal of services on Friday, all schools will be closed to students for in-person learning.
"Teachers will communicate lessons and expectations via their Google Classroom portals or by providing learning materials for students to take home with them on Thursday," the statement read.
"Teachers will be available to support and respond to parent/students throughout the day."
The board has announced that third-party child care operators located in TCDSB schools will be permitted to remain open with modified hours.
York Region District School Board
YRDSB has also announced that they will be closed to all students on Friday.
"Families are strongly encouraged to make alternate arrangements for your children prior to the protest. Please do not send any students to school on November 4," the board said in a statement.
The board noted that the CUPE represents over 4,000 of their staff who provide critical services to the school board. Children will be engaging in asynchronous learning.
Halton Catholic District School Board
The school board has announced that all HCDSB schools will be closed to students on Friday in an event of a strike and a full withdrawal of service by CUPE members.
"After a great deal of deliberation, we have had to make the difficult decision to close all schools to students on Friday, November 4, 2022. We will move to remote asynchronous instruction on this day," the board said in a news release.
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
WCDSB has also announced that in the event of a full withdrawal of CUPE services on Friday, their schools will move to remote learning.
The board has said that Friday will be an asynchronous instruction day for students and they can access materials online.
There are approximately 1200 full-time and part-time CUPE workers in WCDSB's schools.
"Our education workers provide support for safety through supervision duties and safe arrival protocols. Many CUPE members have specialized training to make sure our schools are safe and fully accessible to students with exceptional needs," the board said in a statement.
Thames Valley District School Board
The board has announced that if a full withdrawal of services occurs by CUPE members, all Thames Valley in-person students will move to independent learning on Friday.
"Schools will not be open to students and transportation will not be running. In-person learning cannot operate safely, and devices cannot be deployed at this time without CUPE staff," the board said in their statement.
The board also stated that CUPE represents "2,500 full-time Thames Valley District School Board employees and 1000 casual positions and includes educational assistants (EAs), early childhood educators (ECEs), school and central office staff, technical support (IT), custodial and maintenance staff."
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
DPCDSB has announced that in the event of any form of job action by CUPE on Friday, all schools will be closed to in-person students and all student transportations will be cancelled. All childcare centres and before and after programs are also cancelled.
"DPCDSB remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached that avoids strike action and any impact on DPCDSB families and staff," the board said in the statement.
Ottawa Catholic School Board
OCSB has joined other boards and announced that all in-person students will move to remote learning on Friday.
"We will do this because operating in-person learning without CUPE staff is unsafe. We will do our best to provide continuity of learning for all our students should there be labour disruptions," the board said.
The board has almost 1300 full-time and part-time CUPE workers. The board has given instructions for parents and students on their news page.
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Unlike other school boards, the OCDSB has said that CUPE strike action will not affect any schools and all students will have a usual school day.
"The OCDSB does not have any CUPE bargaining units and is not directly affected by any potential CUPE strike action or provincial legislation," the board said in a statement.
All programs will operate as usual.
As the situation is still unfurling and CUPE is waiting to hear a counter-offer from the government, many more school boards are expected to announce closures. Parents are being asked to monitor the school board's websites and to make arrangements for their children on Friday.