Windsor-Essex Catholic schools to remain closed next week amid strike

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board says its schools are closed indefinitely due to the CUPE strike. (CBC - image credit)
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board says its schools are closed indefinitely due to the CUPE strike. (CBC - image credit)

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) says its schools will be shut down next week and until further notice due to a strike by some of its staff who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

"This is a decision that is consistent with many other school boards throughout Ontario whose educational assistants, early childhood educators and other para-professionals will not be reporting for work next week," the board said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

"The decision was not made lightly, but out of an abundance of concern for health and safety, and for our principled belief in being equitable for all our students."

The board has some 400 employees who are members of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions. Workers in Windsor-Essex and across Ontario picketed outside the offices of MPPs on Friday, in defiance of a newly passed provincial law preventing them from striking.  The same law also imposes a contract on the workers.

In its statement on Friday, the WECDSB said that on Monday and Tuesday teachers will post work in their Google Classrooms and students will complete those assignments independently.

On Wednesday, teachers will be giving lessons via video and schools will follow their regular schedules.

The board said that child care centres within schools will remain open unless operators notify them otherwise, and that sports practices can go ahead.