Toronto District School Board to stay closed for 'duration' of CUPE strike

WATCH ABOVE: CUPE’s planned province-wide strike has the potential to close schools, with roughly 55,000 education workers ready to walk off the job. Parents are both supportive of their cause, while dreading more school closures. Matthew Bingley reports.

Ontario’s largest school board will be closed for the entire duration of a planned strike by education workers set to start Friday.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) had previously said it would close ahead of Friday’s strike by workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

But on Wednesday, CUPE said its strike action would go from Friday “until further notice” if a deal cannot be reached with the Ontario government.

That statement pushed TDSB to tell parents classrooms would also be forced to close for the “duration of this strike action.”

Students will be given work to complete at home with no live classroom instruction for Friday, the board said. That learning will be provided through BrightSpace, Google classroom, email or as a printout.

Some 55,000 workers represented by CUPE are set to walk off the job Friday in a spat over contract negotiations with the Ministry of Education.

The union gave its five-day notice of strike action on Sunday, saying its workers — which include education assistants, caretakers, school secretaries — would strike if a deal with the Ontario government could not be reached.

The province responded by tabling legislation Monday that, if passed, would make Friday’s strike illegal.

The bill is expected to pass around 5 p.m. on Thursday.

TDSB said third-party child care operators within its schools will be allowed to stay open between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Friday.

The board has not yet confirmed the plan for child care beyond Friday.

“We remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached before Friday,” TDSB said in a statement. “Should the situation change, we will provide families with updates as they become available.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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