October 02, 2019

Dear Parent or Guardian,

On Wednesday September 25th, 2019, we received word that CUPE would be initiating a “work to rule” campaign in all of our schools and work places on Monday September 30th, 2019. We are writing today to provide an update on the CUPE strike action which is currently taking place in our schools.

At WCDSB CUPE represents the following working groups: Administrative Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, Personal Support Works, Child and Youth Workers, Lunch Hour Supervisors, Library Technicians, Communicative Disorder Assistants, Payroll and Accounting Associates and Computer Technicians. In each case CUPE had informed us of “struck work”, which are duties that might otherwise be performed by these individuals, which is no longer occurring.

In all cases, our school safety and a Christ-centred learning environment remains of paramount importance to us, and our administrators are working diligently to ensure that we are compensating as best we can for the duties not being performed. Having said that, it is important for all to acknowledge that it is not “business as usual” across the board, and in some cases compromises have been required, until we are through the job action.

This morning we received notice that a full CUPE strike may commence on Monday October 7th, if an agreement is not reached this weekend. If the strike proceeds, this will mean CUPE members will not report to work. As CUPE represents 1100 of our school based staff, we would not be able to safely operate our schools. Therefore, IF the strike proceeds, we will be proceeding to closing our schools commencing Monday October 7th, 2019.

The declaration of and continuation of the strike is a result of central (provincial-level) negotiations and decisions that will be made at that level. At WCDSB we do not currently control the decisions regarding the strike or its remedy. Since there is a possibility that schools may be closed for an indefinite period of time, we recommend that you immediately begin making alternate plans for the care of your children, in the event that the strike proceeds.

We hope you find this update helpful. Please note that updates are regularly being posted to our website www.wcdsb.ca and there is a Frequently Asked Questions section there as well, which may prove helpful. In the meanwhile, we offer our prayers that CUPE and the government are able to reach a fast, fair and respectful collective agreement.

Sincerely yours,

Loretta Notten
Director of Education