PDSB Schools in Mississauga, Brampton to Shut on Monday Amid Looming Strike

Following the five-day notice to strike filed by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Peel District School Board (PDSB) and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board have announced they will be shut on Monday. CUPE and the government are scheduled to hold talks today and over the coming days, as per Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Peel District School Board has announced through an update on its official website that if a deal isn’t struck between the two parties by November 20, students will “participate in synchronous remote learning” on November 21. This means both Public and Catholic schools in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon will close on Monday.

PSDB told Insauga in a statement, “We respect the work that is carried out each day by CUPE workers to maintain safe and caring learning environments for students, and we respect the collective bargaining process in which unions are currently engaged in with the Province of Ontario.”

There are approximately 2,500 full-time and casual CUPE Local 1628 members in the Peel District School Board. They represent office secretarial, clerical staff and library technicians. CUPE Local 2544 members represent custodial, A/V, printing, maintenance, and food services staff, all of whom will be in the legal position to strike.

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Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board also updated its website to let families know that it is preparing for a labor disruption on Monday, November 21 and that it will switch to online learning for students.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce spoke with CP24 Breakfast and said he’s hopeful that the two parties will get back to the bargaining table. “We really hope that those discussions will carry forward. Today and over the coming days, we expect there to be conversations. You know ultimately, notwithstanding the strike notice, we can still have productive conversations at the table and that’s what I’m trying to do,” he shared.

CUPE filed a five-day notice for a strike on November 16 as “many late hour attempts to achieve a freely negotiated settlement” were made but to no avail. Talks “broke down” once again, according to the statement issued by CUPE. The two parties have been trying to reach an agreement for better wages, among other demands, as the workers have been without a contract since August.

Lecce, at the time, responded to the notice by saying this decision made by CUPE has come too soon after negotiations restarted. “Since resuming talks, we’ve put forward multiple improved offers that would have added hundreds of millions of dollars across the sector, especially for lower-income workers. CUPE has rejected all of these offers.”

Vineet Washington

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