CUPE Labour Update For Staff and Families

CUPE Labour Update for Families and Staff
Posted on 11/16/2022

November 16, 2022

Dear Families and Staff:

Today, CUPE (representing custodial staff at our board) announced their intention to proceed with legal strike action beginning on Monday, November 21st, should negotiations not be successful. It is important to note that both the province and CUPE are continuing to negotiate, and it is possible that an agreement is reached prior to Monday. If strike action does proceed, we can not safely operate our schools, which means that schools will be closed for all in-person student learning on Monday, November 21st. 

Before and After School programs, school transportation services and Community Use of Schools will also be cancelled, should a strike occur. Full-day in school childcare centres will be open at the discretion of the operator. 

Synchronous Learning and Technology Distribution

In the event of a school closure, we would move to remote synchronous learning, i.e. live real-time instruction beginning on Monday, November 21st. In preparation for this potential, we will be facilitating the distribution of technology for students who require it on Friday, November 18th. Schools will reach out to families directly with instructions on how to request technology, if needed. 

Please remember that we have a limited number of devices. We want to remind families that students are able to access their remote learning program in a number of ways, including: mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets; laptop or desktop computers; smart TVs; and gaming consoles such as Playstation or Xbox.

During a school closure period, teachers will be taking daily student attendance. If your child will be absent from remote learning for any reason, please follow the typical process at your child’s school. This is a reminder that our parent portal - Home2School Connect is an easy way to submit student absences. 

Students with Special Education Needs
All students will be working remotely from home during a closure-period. Most students with special education needs will be able to engage in remote learning directly with their classroom teacher and receive support as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP). School staff will reach out next week to families of children with complex learning needs who require educational assistant support, to discuss programming options.   

Mental Health and Wellbeing
We understand that this situation may be stressful for students, families, and staff. Please check out the information and resources listed on the Mental Health & Well-being section of the Board website. You will find links to the student website and Instagram page, our parent podcast, community resources, and resources to help you manage through stressful times. 

We know that uncertainty around school closures is hard for families and staff. We are asking families to have plans in place in order to respond should school closures occur due to labour action. As a Catholic community, we will continue to support one another with compassion and patience through these challenging times, and we will pray that negotiations lead to a fair settlement. 

We also encourage you to review our Labour Question and Answer Document, which has more information about labour negotiations at our board. As always, we will provide staff and families with updates as they become available. 

Yours in Faith,

Frances Bagley

Director Education