Update: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m. – Bargaining may resume today
Students and parents should be prepared for school shutdowns again.
The Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board says schools will be closed on Friday if no agreement is reached in a labour dispute between Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers and the provincial government.
In an open letter to families, the board also says it plans on having remote and asynchronous learning in place. That means teaching will be offered online, but not through regular Google Meets, as was the case earlier in the pandemic.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and Trillium Lakelands District School Board also say they plans to close schools on Friday and offer remote learning.
Meanwhile, CUPE is waiting to hear back from the province on a counter-offer they sent late Tuesday night. A source close to the negotiations, but who is not authorized to speak as a spokesperson, told the Vista National News Desk that members of the union’s central bargaining committee will be available for negotiations Wednesday and Thursday. The province has said it would return to the bargaining table if the mediator requests it.
On Monday, the Ford government introduced legislation that would impose a four-year contract on the workers; a group that includes custodians, teacher’s aides and clerical workers.
The deal offered by the province included a 2.5 per cent increase annually to employees making less than $43,000 a year and a 1.5 per cent increase to everyone else. CUPE is demanding an 11.7 per cent increase.
Our national and local news team is following developments. We will let you know the latest through our broadcast and through stories posted to www.mybancroftnow.com.