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Labour Updates

Dec. 3, 2019

WECDSB schools are not affected by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation one-day job action and will remain open on Wednesday Dec. 4, 2019. All staff and students are expected to report to school as regularly scheduled.

WECDSB teachers are represented by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), which is also currently negotiating a new collective agreement with the provincial government. OECTA has filed for conciliation, but will not be in a legal strike position before the Christmas break.

The WECDSB is committed to keeping all of our key stakeholders informed and will provide information about how school operations may be affected by any job action here as it becomes available. Please stay tuned to our web site and social media platforms for additional updates.

Sincerely,

Terry Lyons
Director of Education


Oct. 6, 2019


The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the provincial government were able to reach a new tentative contract agreement after weekend negotiations, which means a CUPE strike has been averted.

All staff and students are expected to report to school on Monday, October 7 as regularly scheduled.

Sincerely

Terry Lyons
Director of Education


Oct. 3, 2019

Yesterday the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) provided notice that they will escalate their work-to-rule campaign to a full withdrawal of services on Monday, October 7, 2019 if a negotiated settlement with the provincial government cannot be reached by that date.

The WECDSB employs more than 400 CUPE support staff including Educational Assistants, Designated Early Childhood Educators, Child and Youth Workers, Psychotherapists and other para-professionals.

We have decided to close all of our elementary and secondary schools beginning Monday, October 7 should the members of CUPE follow through with their previously stated intention.  This would mean that students in those schools will not be able to attend. However, St. Michael’s Adult Campus on Detroit Street in Windsor will remain open.

The health and safety of all of our students and staff remains the Board’s primary concern and was the predominant factor that was considered in making this decision.

We would strongly suggest that parents and guardians begin looking at alternative arrangements for child care. Parents who have children enrolled in privately operated daycare services and before-and-after programs in our schools should consult with the providers of those programs to determine whether they will remain open should a strike occur.

This is a dispute between CUPE and the Province of Ontario and it is our sincere hope that both parties can return to the central negotiating table. While we are not directly involved in the process, we will monitor the situation closely and hope that a resolution can be reached without CUPE members having to withdraw their services.

As soon as we know for certain if schools will be closed on Monday, we will post information to the Board’s web site (wecdsb.on.ca) and to our Twitter account (twitter.com/WECDSB). We will also send a voice message to all parents throughout the system and inform local media outlets.

We remain hopeful for a speedy resolution to this impasse.

Sincerely,

Terry Lyons
Director of Education


Oct. 2, 2019

It has come to our attention that CUPE has given notice that they intend to fully withdraw services beginning Monday Oct. 7 if a contract agreement with the provincial government cannot be reached.

Parents, students and other community partners need to know that this is an issue between CUPE and the Province of Ontario. Bargaining is happening centrally between the two parties involved in the dispute.

Parents should also know that the safety of their children is our primary concern. We will be monitoring the bargaining situation closely and will communicate our intentions regarding a contingency plan for our schools as soon as we have a clearer sense of whether the union will indeed move to full-scale job action.

At this time, it is very important to allow the process to continue. We remain hopeful that the two sides will return to the bargaining table and that a resolution can be reached.

We will continue to provide information to our school communities as it becomes available.

Sincerely,


Terry Lyons
Director of Education


Sept. 27, 2019

The purpose of this letter is to provide our families with an important update on labour relations.

About 55,000 Ontario school board support staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will be in a legal strike position on Monday, September 30th including about 400 support workers at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

In our Board, CUPE represents support staff such as educational assistants, designated early childhood educators, sign language interpreters, speech language pathologists, attendance counsellor, psychological associates, psychologist, child and youth workers, psychotherapists, educational intervenors and educational audiologist.

Our understanding is that the first phase of job action beginning Monday, September 30th will be “work-to-rule” actions. CUPE staff during this time may not be completing additional duties beyond their normal responsibilities or hours of work.

All WECDSB schools will remain open, and learning will be happening in our classrooms. We are working diligently to minimize any impact on our students and school communities. However, employees represented by CUPE provide many important services within our schools and board, and despite our best efforts, the withdrawal of these services will cause some disruption.

Student and staff safety is always our top priority and that will be a major factor in determining how continued job action may affect the operation of schools.

As a Catholic school board, we remain committed to the labour negotiations process and we are hopeful a new central agreement with CUPE will be reached in the near future.

We will be posting labour relations updates on our website – www.wecdsb.on.ca - and parents are encouraged to follow us on Twitter @WECDSB.

Significant updates will also be communicated to families via our School Messenger system. We very much appreciate your understanding and patience as we work together to support our students and school communities during this time.  

Sincerely,

Terry Lyons

Director of Education

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