October 3, 2019

Peel board schools closed beginning Oct. 7 due to CUPE strike

​As you know, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is currently in job action across the province. On Oct. 2, 2019, CUPE announced that they would begin full withdrawal of services—strike action—across the province on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, unless progress is made at the central bargaining table. 

The status of schools will vary from school board to school board depending on which employee groups CUPE represents. In the Peel District School Board, CUPE members—administrative assistants, food service workers, library technicians, and custodial, maintenance and audio/visual repair staff—play an important safety role. They are responsible for daily health and safety checks, help when busing issues arise, and provide support that helps keep students a​nd staff safe, and schools running smoothly.

After thoughtful consideration, we have determined that student safety cannot be ensured during a CUPE strike. As such, as of Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, all schools will be closed to students, unless a provincial agreement is made.

Beginning Oct. 7, 2019, please do not send your child to school. You do not need to call in your child's absence. Since we do not know how long the strike will last, we recommend that you begin making alternate plans for the care of your children, in the event that a strike proceeds.

All weekend classes and permits will continue as usual on Oct. 5 and 6. As of Oct. 7, 2019, the following will also be cancelled/closed until further notice:
  • all evening and weekend permits
  • International Languages program
  • school field trips and extracurricular activities – refunds won't be processed until after the strike
  • before-/after-school programs, and child care programs operated on school property
  • EarlyON and Child and Family Learning Centres
  • Night School
  • eLearning
  • Adult Credit, Non-Credit, ESL, and Literacy and Basic Skills programs
  • all Co-op placements, including those taking place off school property
  • Dual Credit program—students should not go to their college classes
  • high school information nights that are scheduled for the week of Oct. 7
If a settlement is reached over the weekend and/or the CUPE strike is suspended, schools will be open on Monday, Oct. 7. However, whenever the strike ends, before-school programs will not operate on the first day back. After-school programs will run when schools re-open. Child care programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers will open at 8:30 a.m. on the first day back.

During the CUPE strike and resulting school closures, students will miss course and class work. Because we don't know how long the strike will last, we are not yet in a position to address the loss of learning.

We appreciate that this is frustrating for families and students, and we will continue to monitor the labour situation and provide updates to you as they become available. As changes in strike action can happen at any time, it is important that you stay connected and look for updates. To find out the status of schools:
  • Visit the Peel board website at www.peelschools.org/labour. See our FAQ posted here.
  • Follow the Peel board on social media—follow @PeelSchools on Twitter and/or like our page on Facebook.
  • Subscribe to your school's website—look for the "Sign up for school news" button on the home page.
  • Watch for updates on local news outlets—television, radio, newspaper.

We remain hopeful that an agreement may be reached over the weekend. If that happens, we will inform staff, students and families as soon as possible. As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding.​

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