School boards prepare for pending CUPE strike

As members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) prepare for a possible strike this Friday, November 4th, local school boards are preparing to mitigate the effects of absent staff. The Near North District School Board (NNDSB) noted “every board must make contingency plans based on their circumstance,” as each school board in the province has “varying employee groups represented by CUPE.”

The NNDSB “is in the position to keep some schools and classrooms open,” although the board has yet to officially announce which ones will remain open.

Apparently, Chippewa will be closed.

Each school in the board will send a letter to families regarding the school’s status.

All community use of schools will be suspended as of November 4th, as the board “does not have the capacity to maintain safe conditions for permit holders.”

See: VIDEO: 'Enough is enough' say supporters of education workers

Jay Aspin, the outgoing chair of the NNDSB, mentioned to BayToday that “we are trying as best as we can do keep schools operating.”

“After such a devastating, impactful pandemic our students need to be in school to catch up,” he said. “That should be a no brainer to all concerned.”

The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board “respects collective bargaining” for CUPE members, and “are hopeful that a freely negotiated agreement will be reached soon.”

Within the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board, CUPE represents custodial and maintenance workers. If a strike occurs this Friday, “all of our schools will remain open,” the board explained, “and academic programming will continue to be delivered to our students.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca