THUNDER BAY – Strike action at schools in Ontario is possible. That will impact schooling in Thunder Bay.
The Lakehead Board of Education states:
On Wednesday, October 2nd, school boards across Ontario were notified by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) that they would commence strike action at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 7 unless progress is made at the bargaining table. Talks between CUPE and the Provincial Government are scheduled to resume on the afternoon of Friday, October 4. CUPE represents custodians, maintenance and cafeteria staff at Lakehead Public Schools.
As soon as Lakehead Public Schools receives notification of the strike action, information will be posted on www.lakeheadschools.ca and on the Board Twitter and Facebook Pages.
CUPE has indicated that picket lines will be set up at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Hammarskjold High School, and the Jim McCuaig Education Centre. CUPE has also indicated that there could also be rotating pickets at select elementary schools.
Students and their families have the right to cross picket lines without harassment or intimidation. At the same time, CUPE members will be exercising their legal right to strike and have indicated that they will be providing information to people crossing the line. Please be respectful in all interactions with striking staff.
Recommended Procedures When Crossing a Picket Line
– Students and their families crossing the picket line are legally obliged to do so in a manner that does not endanger the life or safety of any person.
– If you are driving into a school parking lot, approach the picket line as you would a busy intersection. Come to a full stop, watch for an opening and exercise caution before proceeding.
– Whether you are driving or walking across the picket line, you may be stopped by a person on the picket line for a short period of time so that they can provide information about the strike. Be patient and proceed when the person on the picket line is finished with the presentation.
– Keep personal biases and emotions in check. Be friendly or neutral.
– The police have no authority in the dispute unless there is a breach of the peace or a criminal offense such as causing a disturbance or intimidation. If there is the possibility of a physical altercation, do not become involved. Report any safety concerns about picket activities to your school principal.
– If you are driving across the picket line to leave the school, please only make right-hand turns on to the street.
– In an effort to reduce traffic issues at picketed sites, please consider arranging carpools for the drive to and from school.
– If at all possible, please avoid unnecessary departures and arrivals from the school.
– If you do not feel comfortable crossing the picket line, you may park your vehicle on the street as long as it is legally parked. Please do not park in private lots or block driveways/laneways. We have been told by Thunder Bay Police that illegally parked cars will be ticketed.
– All secondary school cafeteria kitchens will be closed. Students are reminded to bring their own lunch. Cafeteria spaces will remain open for eating and doing school work.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school principal.