Labour Update for Families – November 6

Limestone Learning Foundation
Labour Update for Families – November 6
Posted on 11/06/2022

Dear Families,

At this point in time, it appears the protest by CUPE staff will be continuing to start the week.  It should be noted that this protest is a direct response to provincial legislation imposing a labour contract and invoking the notwithstanding clause. CUPE was in a legal strike position toward the end of last week based on labour legislation at the time and had announced a strike for Friday, November 4. The government responded with the legislation referenced above. 

Limestone CUPE employees provide critical services in schools across our district, and we cannot safely operate in-person learning for all students without these services. As a result, Limestone schools and buildings will remain closed to students and the public for Monday, November 7, until further notice. 

Last week the Ministry of Education clearly articulated the provincial expectations for school boards in contingency planning for the current disruption. Consequently, teachers will continue providing asynchronous learning tasks through pre-established methods like an online platform or e-mail. We will continue to action plans for distribution of resources, devices, and other supplies to further support student learning as the week proceeds. Please know that equity of access to education is a primary concern and was also highlighted in the Ministry communication from last week, as well as historical statements from the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Moving to further support student learning requires ensuring the maximum degree of access possible, even with critical staff unavailable to support students, schools, and the system. 

We understand school closures for in-person learning may create worries and uncertainty for students, families, and staff. We want to assure you that we will continue to communicate regularly with families to ensure that you have as much information as possible, so that you can make informed decisions and undertake contingency planning.

Limestone had hoped for a fair and mutually agreeable, negotiated settlement.  We hope that the current situation is resolved soon, and the disruption to in-person learning and regular operations is short in duration.

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and kindness towards one another.

Krishna Burra

Director of Education

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.