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Strike averted; All Lambton-Kent, St. Clair Catholic schools open

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Tara Jeffrey

All schools and facilities across the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic District School Boards were open Monday, following news that a tentative deal was reached between the Ministry of Education and the union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers.

“Today, the Ministry of Education and the trustees’ association announced they have reached a tentative provincial agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE),” LKDSB education director John Howitt stated in a release late Sunday.

“As such, all LKDSB schools and facilities, except Brooke Central Public School, will be open to students on Monday, November 21, 2022.

“We thank you for your patience and support through the uncertainty of the past week.”

Last week, the board announced that Brooke Central Public School students will transition to remote, asynchronous teacher-led learning, Monday, Nov. 21, as a precaution, while work continues to complete structural roof upgrades.

A similar message was sent from Scott Johnson, director of education for the St. Clair Catholic Board.

“Although the agreement is still subject to ratification, the tentative deal means the full withdrawal of services by CUPE education workers has been averted,” he noted. “We are thankful for this development and look forward to welcoming all students and staff to our schools tomorrow morning.”

Parents are guardians are reminded to send all devices that were deployed for virtual learning back to school, Monday.

Members of CUPE, including early childhood educators, custodians, educational assistants and others had been prepared to walk off the job on Monday, in a legal strike involving a full withdrawal of services unless there was progress at the central bargaining table with the Ministry of Education and the trustees’ association.

 

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