Students will be back in class Tuesday.
Both the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic District School boards announced Monday that schools across Sarnia-Lambton will re-open to students Tuesday, as the union representing 55,000 education workers returns to the bargaining table with the Ontario government.
“CUPE has agreed to withdraw their strike action and come back to the negotiating table,” Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said in a statement, Monday. “In return, at the earliest opportunity, we will revoke Bill 28 in its entirety and be at the table so that kids can return to the classroom after two difficult years.
“As we have always said and called for, kids need to be back in the classroom, where they belong.”
Last week, Premier Doug Ford’s government passed the Keeping Students in Class Act, controversial legislation that would impose a contract on CUPE’s education workers and legally prevent them from striking.
That led to a province-wide walkout Friday, including hundreds of education workers and supporters gathered locally outside Bob Bailey’s office.
As a result, schools were closed to students Monday.
On Monday, the provincial government agreed to rescind Bill 28.
“And that’s a credit to the power of our members, and workers and organized labour here in Ontario and across Canada,” said Mark Hancock, CUPE National president.
“There are 55,000 education workers here in Ontario who still need a fair deal that helps them make ends meet.
“And we are all going to stand with them until they get it.”
In a letter to families, St. Clair Catholic School Board education director Scott Johnson thanked students, families and staff “for your understanding during this difficult and uncertain period.”
“We recognize that there is still much work to do at the bargaining table, in negotiations between CUPE provincial and the Ontario government,” he added. “We continue to pray that the two sides will reach an agreement that is fair for all parties.”