Labour Negotiations Updates – 2019

October 6, 2019

Niagara Catholic has been advised by OCSTA that a tentative collective agreement between CUPE, which represents educational support workers, the provincial government and the Council of Trustees’ Associations has been reached.

Schools will be open for all students tomorrow Monday, October 7.

We thank all sides who worked so diligently throughout the weekend to reach the agreement, and look forward to seeing everyone Monday morning.

October 4, 2019

All Niagara Catholic elementary, secondary, and alternative and continuing education schools will be closed to students beginning Monday, October 7, if the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) begins strike action as scheduled.

“The Board, administrators and staff have a duty of care to protect student safety,” said Niagara Catholic Director of Education John Crocco. “If the CUPE strike proceeds, while respecting the vital role that staff who are CUPE members have in supporting the programs, services, safety and well-being for students, after thoughtful and thorough consideration, we have concluded that we would be unable to provide the full educational experience for our students in a safe and healthy learning environment that parents expect. Regretfully, we will close all Niagara Catholic, elementary, secondary, alternative and continuing education schools if a strike proceeds.”

The closure will also apply to student transportation, and before and after-school childcare services offered in our schools. Full-day infant, toddler and preschool childcare centres will remain open. We encourage parents to make alternate arrangements for childcare, and provide opportunities for a review of learning or the completion of assignments throughout the duration of the strike. All weekend classes and Community Use of Schools permits will also be cancelled effective October 7 if CUPE members strike.

“We understand and appreciate the substantial impact that closing schools will have on our students and their families,” said Frank Fera, Chair of Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees. “However, we have a duty of care to our students and are compelled to ensure that they are safe while at school. We continue to remain hopeful that all sides will work together today and throughout the weekend to negotiate an agreement and that schools will be open and operating as usual on Monday morning.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 1005 full-time and casual staff members in Niagara Catholic which includes school secretaries, school/system clerical staff, custodians, maintenance staff, Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Library Technicians and Child and Youth Workers across Niagara Catholic.

If the full withdrawal of services strike action takes place:

  • All schools will be closed for students
  • All non-striking staff members will report to your regular work location as usual
  • Parents/guardians will not be required to call in absences
  • Niagara Student Transportation Services (NSTS) bus transportation will be cancelled
  • All athletic, co-instructional activities, cooperative education and School College Work Initiative programs (dual credit placements and LINK) will be cancelled
  • All Community Use Permits, evenings and weekends, will be cancelled as of October 7th
  • All Continuing Education classes, including weekend classes, will be cancelled
  • Before and after school childcare will be cancelled
  • EarlyOn centres will be closed
  • Full-day infant, toddler and preschool childcare centres will remain open
  • Catholic School Council Meetings and school events will be rescheduled as determined by the school Principal

Your continued prayers, patience and understanding are appreciated as we continue to work together for our students, staff and school communities across Niagara Catholic.

October 3, 2019

School boards across the province of Ontario are currently making decisions regarding school operations in the event of a CUPE strike, beginning Monday morning.

Niagara Catholic is committed to the full educational programs, supports and services to all students, within a safe and healthy learning environment.

Senior Administrative Council is currently meeting to decide on the appropriate course of action should a CUPE strike proceed. We will advise parents on the Board website, social media channels and through School Messenger when a decision has been reached.

We thank your continued prayers, patience and understanding.


October 2, 2019

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has served notice of its intention to engage in a full withdrawal of services, beginning Monday, October 7, 2019, should an agreement not be reached by the end of the day on October 6.

Niagara Catholic continues to review all contingency plans, in the event that a full withdrawal of services occurs.

We will provide an update to our families and school communities by the end of the week on this website, our social media channels and through School Messenger.

We respect and value our staff and the collective bargaining process, and remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached.

Your prayers, patience and support are appreciated.


September 25, 2019

As many families may already be aware, the unions representing staff in schools and school board offices across Ontario are currently in central negotiations with the Province.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents school secretaries, school/system clerical staff, custodians, maintenance staff, EAs, Early Childhood Educators, Library Technicians and Child and Youth Workers, has notified the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association of its intention to begin working-to-rule in schools across Ontario on Monday, September 30.

Working to rule means that those employees will limit their activities to tasks outlined in their job description. What this means for students and families is that any activities these staff typically perform outside of their job description or scheduled working hours will be halted during the job action.

CUPE and the Province will resume negotiations this weekend. If the work-to-rule campaign goes into effect, schools will be open, with all classes in session. Classroom instruction will continue throughout the school day.

Niagara Catholic will provide regular labour negotiation updates on our website and social media channels throughout the negotiation process. We remind our many followers on social media to please follow good community guidelines when posting comments or questions about the process.