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Update for families

May 18, 2023
As we head into a long weekend that typically signifies the last leg of the school year, I recognize that our schools do not feel whole. We are missing some very important students and staff members.
As a result of the labour dispute, members of CUPE Local 5047 have been off the job for seven days and the impacts are being felt in all of our schools. Unfortunately, no additional talks are scheduled at this time.
As I shared last week, we remain focused on minimizing impacts to students and families. Some of these efforts include:
  • Principals are supporting families on a case-by-case basis to provide opportunities for continued learning from home and solutions to make it possible for more students, who require support of Educational Program Assistants, to return to school during the strike.
  • Our Pre-Primary team continues to update a website of resources daily, to help families provide learning opportunities for their children.
  • We have reassigned all available central office staff to schools to help mitigate the impacts of the job action.
  • We have reached out to our roster of more than 400 casual employees and other local organizations in our efforts to put additional staff in place to support students during this time. Unfortunately, there are very few people with training in personal care or complex medical needs available for hire. As the situation evolves, we will continue to work on solutions. It is important to note that temporary workers and casual employees who assist us at this time do not impact the permanent jobs of our frontline workers who are off the job.
While the job action may not have direct impacts on your family, it is important to recognize the consequences that the strike is having for many members of our community. The safety of each child is our primary focus and we do not take a decision to ask a student to remain home lightly. We will continue to work with families to find solutions based on each child’s needs.
I recognize this update will not bring comfort. This is extremely difficult, and I am truly sorry our system is in this situation.
I will continue to provide updates when more information is available.
All the best,
Steve Gallagher
Regional Executive Director