Most Guelph colleges switching to on-line courses attributable to CUPE strike

Most schools in Guelph will be switching to online learning next week, with both the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board stating the CUPE strike is preventing schools from being kept healthy and safe.Most schools in Guelph will be switching to online learning next week, with both the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board stating the CUPE strike is preventing schools from being kept healthy and safe.

Guelph students are heading back online.

In a Nov. 4 news release, the Upper Grand District School Board announced it will begin shifting students to online learning on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Schools will remain open on Monday for in-person learning.

On Tuesday, all of the board’s secondary schools will be going online, with elementary students making the switch the following day.

The release notes, “keeping schools open, healthy and safe is not sustainable without our valued CUPE employees.”

The Wellington Catholic District School Board has announced all of its schools with CUPE staff will be closed to in-person learning as of Monday. St. John Bosco Secondary School will remain open.

Workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) — which represents approximately 224 permanent custodial and maintenance staff, and approximately 18 adult ESL (English as a second language) instructors with the Upper Grand District School Board, as well as 60 custodians and maintenance workers with the Wellington Catholic District School Board — went on strike on Friday, Nov. 4, with no end date in sight.

The strike comes after the provincial government passed, the day prior, the Keeping Students in Class Act, which imposes a four-year contract on 55,000 custodians, early childhood educators, educational assistants and clerical staff represented by CUPE.

The union had previously given notice it would be going on strike on Friday after a deal was not reached between it and the province. However, with the passing of Bill 28, the striking members are now facing fines of up to $4,000 per day, with the union itself facing up to $500,000 daily.

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