Grand Erie to Close All Schools to Students on Monday Should CUPE Proceed with its Full Withdrawal of Services

 
 
Following a careful evaluation of what the impact a full withdrawal of services by CUPE staff would have on the safety and well-being of all students, Grand Erie District School Board has decided that should an agreement with CUPE not be reached before the imposed deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Monday (October 7), all Grand Erie schools will be closed to students for the duration of this escalated job action.

“The decision to close schools is a last resort for the Board,” said Greg Anderson, Chair of the Board. “It’s not something we ever want to do. We firmly believe students belong in the classroom where important learning is taking place. Ultimately, however, we must ensure the safety and well-being of all students while they are at school and we simply can’t do that if our 730 CUPE members fully withdraw their services.”

CUPE members in Grand Erie include: School Secretaries, Custodians, Caretakers, Educational Assistants, Library Technicians, Food Technicians, central Clerical staff, Maintenance and Trades staff, Communication Disorders Assistants and Information Technology staff.

In addition to providing critical supervision for students, CUPE members are responsible for medical assistance, support and care for some of the Board’s most vulnerable students. They also ensure the safe operation of water and sanitation systems, including water flushing. They care for, clean, maintain and secure Grand Erie schools – both inside and out. They oversee the Board’s information technology systems, support parents, help run a wide range of events, activities and extracurricular programs, including sports. Finally, CUPE members play an important role in Grand Erie’s safe arrivals program that keeps students safe and secure each day.

“The Board regrets the impact this decision will have on parents and guardians who will need to make arrangements for child care during this closure,” said Anderson. “We also remain hopeful that a deal will be reached before the deadline passes this weekend.”

When results of the negotiations with CUPE are released this weekend, Grand Erie will confirm the status of schools for Monday. Information will be posted on the Board’s website (www.granderie.ca) as well as its Twitter (@GEDSB) and Facebook (GEDSB) accounts. The latest a decision will be made regarding the closure of schools is 6:30 a.m. on Monday (October 7).

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 25,000 students in 58 elementary and 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk.

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