These Ottawa and eastern Ontario schools will close if CUPE strikes again

CUPE members and supporters join a demonstration in east Ottawa earlier this month. They could return to the picket line on Monday, Nov. 21. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press - image credit)
CUPE members and supporters join a demonstration in east Ottawa earlier this month. They could return to the picket line on Monday, Nov. 21. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Thousands of Ontario education workers are again threatening to strike Monday, Nov. 21. Most eastern Ontario school boards would close schools if that happens.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed another strike notice Wednesday, saying it reached a middle ground with the province on wages but the government "refused to invest in the services that students need and parents expect, precipitating this escalation."

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement that since talks resumed a few days ago, the province has put forward multiple offers that would add "hundreds of millions of dollars across the sector, especially for lower-income workers," but CUPE has thus far rejected them.

The province previously passed legislation in a bid to prevent 55,000 CUPE workers from striking, but thousands of workers, including education assistants, librarians and custodians, walked off the job anyway.

Last week, Premier Doug Ford offered to withdraw the legislation if CUPE members returned to work, which they did.

When it comes to local schools, nine of the 12 boards are closing all schools, two are closing some and one is fully open. Here's a look at the most recent plans.

Closed

The Ottawa Catholic School Board said Wednesday that the job action prevents its schools from opening safely.

If there's a strike, its classes will go online on their regular schedule. Principals will co-ordinate handing out devices. Extended day programs will close.

The Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario says if a strike occurs Monday it will switch to virtual, but asynchronous, learning. If the strike continues into Tuesday, it says it will switch to synchronous learning.

Classes distinctes would continue in person as long as buildings are clean and safe, extracurriculars would be cancelled and child-care providers will reach out to families directly.

Families that needed a device during the last strike will get one again, the school said. Reach out to the school if needs have changed.

The Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien is planning a similar switch to asynchronous learning Monday and synchronous starting Tuesday.

Classes distinctes will continue as long as it's safe, but extracurricular activities and community permits are cancelled. This board asks families to contact service providers about child care in its schools.

The Upper Canada District School Board said it's closing schools if there's another strike and synchronous learning would start Monday. Teachers of students will special needs will reach out to those families.

Community use permits would be cancelled and parents who use a daycare at one of its schools are asked to contact the provider directly.

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario said its schools would close and synchronous learning would start Monday. Families who have needed devices in the past should be hearing from the school.

Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board leadership said schools would close under a strike and Monday would feature asynchronous learning.

It said extracurricular activities and before- and after-school care wouldn't happen and it would send along more information on things such as synchronous learning and child care.

The Limestone District School Board said its schools would close if workers strike and said it will send along more details.

Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press
Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board would close schools and offer a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning. Families can contact teachers for help with technology.

Before- and after-school programs and community permits are on pause during a strike and families are asked to reach out to daycare providers directly.

The Renfrew County District School Board said it's planning for asynchronous learning Monday and Tuesday, then synchronous learning Wednesday. Devices would be given out Monday and co-ordinated by individual schools.

All of its extracurricular activities and community use permits are paused and parents should contact child-care services out of its schools directly.

Some closed, some open

The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est would close schools that have custodians and trades staff represented by CUPE, except for students in classes distinctes. That covers most elementary schools and a few secondary schools.

Schools that close would have asynchronous learning Monday, then synchronous after that. Devices would be given out Friday. Extracurriculars and before- and after- school care would be cancelled and preschool centres will be open unless parents hear otherwise.

Other schools will be open.

The Renfrew County Catholic District School Board plans to close 10 schools with CUPE custodians in the event of a strike. These schools would be asynchronous Monday and then have synchronous learning after that.

Information on devices is up to individual schools. Families that use child-care services are asked to check with their provider.

Open

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board does not have CUPE bargaining units and didn't close earlier this month.