Lori Wilder, Director of Education for the Bluewater District School Board, sent the following letter to parents and/or guardians of students in the event the CUPE enters into strike action on Monday, November 21st.
“The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has provided notice of their intention to fully withdraw their services across Ontario on Monday, November 21, 2022 if a collective agreement is not reached with the provincial government by that time.
In Bluewater District School Board, CUPE includes our custodial and maintenance staff.
IF there is a full withdrawal of services by CUPE, we will have no choice but to close all schools in Bluewater District School Board to students starting on Monday, November 21, 2022 until further notice. In this scenario, all elementary and secondary students would move to remote learning on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. This would allow educators to prepare on Monday for the transition to remote learning.
Elementary and secondary students who are already learning remotely this school year would continue with their usual daily routines.
We realize that some families would require a device to access online learning. We only have the capacity to loan up to one device per family where necessary. Staff would collect information with a plan to distribute technology to families requiring this support by the middle of next week.
With Monday a transition day, students and families would be encouraged to visit TVO Learn at https://tvolearn.com/.
Please note that during a full withdrawal of services, there would be no student transportation services running. Extra-curricular activities would not occur during this period but could be rescheduled if possible. Before and after school programs would be cancelled, and families would be encouraged to contact their child care providers regarding availability. All rental permits for community events and activities in schools would be cancelled. Dual credit and co-operative education programs for secondary students would continue during this period.
Students are asked to take home essential items from school on Friday just in case a full withdrawal of services occurs on Monday.
Mental health resources and supports for students are available on our website at the following link: https://www.bwdsb.on.ca/students/mental_health
This continues to be an evolving situation. We will be sure to update families on any new developments that may impact our schools through SchoolMessenger, and Bluewater District School Board’s social media pages and Labour Updates web page.
We value the work of our CUPE members and hope for a positive outcome as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.