Niagara Catholic will close schools in event of a CUPE strike

Niagara Catholic District School Board press release – All Niagara Catholic elementary, secondary, and alternative and continuing education schools will be closed to students beginning Monday, October 7/2019, if the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) begins strike action as scheduled.

“The Board, administrators and staff have a duty of care to protect student safety,” said Niagara Catholic Director of Education John Crocco. “If the CUPE strike proceeds, while respecting the vital role that staff who are CUPE members have in supporting the programs, services, safety and well-being for students, after thoughtful and thorough consideration, we have concluded that we would be unable to provide the full educational experience for our students in a safe and healthy learning environment that parents expect. Regretfully, we will close all Niagara Catholic, elementary, secondary, alternative and continuing education schools if a strike proceeds.”

The closure will also apply to student transportation, and before and after-school childcare services offered in our schools. Full-day infant, toddler and preschool childcare centres will remain open. We encourage parents to make alternate arrangements for child care and provide opportunities for a review of learning or the completion of assignments throughout the duration of the strike. All weekend classes and Community Use of Schools permits will also be canceled effective October 7 if CUPE members strike.

“We understand and appreciate the substantial impact that closing schools will have on our students and their families,” said Frank Fera, Chair of Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees. “However, we have a duty of care to our students and are compelled to ensure that they are safe while at school. We continue to remain hopeful that all sides will work together today and throughout the weekend to negotiate an agreement and that schools will be open and operating as usual on Monday morning.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 1005 full-time and casual staff members in Niagara Catholic which includes school secretaries, school/system clerical staff, custodians, maintenance staff, Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Library Technicians and Child and Youth Workers across Niagara Catholic.