English Catholic schools will close if CUPE strikes Monday

Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario Trustee Todd Lalonde. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

KEMPTVILLE – The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario says it will be forced to close school if support staff go on strike Monday.

CDSBEO board chairman Todd Lalonde says it’s in the interest of safety of students.

“Due to the vast and significant roles held by CUPE employees, the CDSBEO regrets that if strike action commences, all schools will be closed to students effective Monday, October 7, until further notice.”

The workers, which include custodians, secretaries, educational assistants and early childhood educators, have been on the work-to-rule campaign since Monday but the union announced on Wednesday it was escalating their job action.

The CUPE workers represent about one-third of the CDSBEO staff.

Meanwhile, the Upper Canada District School Board, hasn’t said definitively whether schools will close.

Instead, in a Facebook post Wednesday (Oct. 2), it encouraged parents to make alternate arrangements ahead of a possible Monday strike.

CUPE represents 1,600 employees at the UCDSB under 10 different employee groups.

The Ontario government and CUPE plan to meet tomorrow afternoon (4:30 p.m.) to continue bargaining.

Both the French Public and French Catholic boards have posted Facebook messages saying they will keep schools open Monday regardless of a strike.

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