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Labour Update

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HWDSB strives to keep its community informed about the status of labour negotiations with employee groups. All employee contracts (collective agreements) for HWDSB education workers have expired as of August 31. The collective bargaining process has started, which involves two tiers: Central and Local bargaining. A collective agreement is a written contract between the employer and a union that outlines many of the terms and conditions of employment for employees in a bargaining unit. 


Status (November 20, 2022): A message to families is available.

We are pleased to share that a tentative deal has been reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Government of Ontario and the Council of Trustees’ Association.

Schools will be OPEN for in-person learning tomorrow, Monday, November 21, 2022. All child care, extra-curricular activities, and rental permits at HWDSB will continue to operate as normal.  

Read more: Labour Update – CUPE Deal Nov 20


 

Click date for previous updates.

November 17, 2022: Director's message on labour development

A message to families is available. In the event of a strike, schools will be CLOSED for in-person learning on Monday, November 21, 2022. Students would do real-time, connected (synchronous) remote learning until further notice.

Read more: Labour Update, blog post Labour Update to Families – Nov 17

NOTE: A deal has been reached. This information is no longer current.

November 16, 2022: Director's message on labour development

In a message to families, Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini, Director of Education, wrote: “We are committed to keeping you informed in a timely manner. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has served notice that they will take strike action on Monday, November 21, 2022, if a deal is not reached with the government before then. As a reminder, in HWDSB, CUPE represents caretakers and maintenance workers. We are committed to sharing information with you in a timely manner. Once finalized, HWDSB’s contingency plans will be communicated with families tomorrow, Thursday, November 17, 2022.”   

Labour Update – CUPE Notice Nov 16

November 7, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

All HWDSB staff and students will return to in-person work and learning on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Board Chair, Dawn Danko, shares this statement on recent developments between the Government of Ontario and CUPE.

“Today, the Government of Ontario committed to repeal Bill 28, and CUPE workers across the province will end their protest. This is great news for workers’ rights and for our students.

Students can return to in-person learning tomorrow as caretaking and maintenance staff will be at work.

We thank students and families for their patience throughout this disruption. As we return to regular school operations, we will be sharing further details with families later today.

CUPE and the Government of Ontario will resume the collective bargaining process and we will update families on labour negotiations as needed. We hope for a fair deal for all involved.”

A Labour Update to Families – Nov 7 is available to families.

November 6, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

A Labour Update to Families-Nov 6 is shared outlining important information about the preparation to remote learning as a result of labour action.

NOTE: Since this statement was shared, a decision was made to open all schools to in-person learning on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

November 5, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

November 5, 2022: Chair’s statement on labour development 

“From the outset, we have stated that student safety and well-being is paramount. We knew schools could only remain open if health and safety standards were met. With the continued labour disruption, HWDSB’s contingency plan has evolved, and we want to provide as much clarity for families as possible.

Schools will be closed for in-person learning on Monday, November 7, as we expect labour action to continue. Students will have access to asynchronous learning activities, while we prepare for a transition to remote learning in real time on Tuesday, November 8Learn more in the Labour Update to families sent on Friday.

Trustees continue to advocate for a fair contract that respects the collective bargaining process and workers’ rights. We recognize the legislation to block a strike has tremendous, broad-reaching implications. While we want students in the classroom, we also want our employees to be respected.”

November 4, 2022: Letter to Families and Chair's statement on labour development

A Labour Update to Families-Nov 4 has been shared. Today, we implemented a contingency plan where we assigned additional staff to schools. At the end of today, we reassessed the situation and as a result, we have determined that we are unable to continue to keep schools open safely for students.

NOTE: Since this letter was shared, a decision was made to open all schools to in-person learning on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

November 3, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

November 3, 2022: Chair’s statement on labour development 

“Supportive conditions for students are at the centre of this labour dispute. We know that when the adults in a child’s life are in conflict, children never benefit. 

We are disappointed that the Government of Ontario passed this legislation removing our labour partners’ rights to engage in the collective bargaining process. An agreement should be respectful towards education workers, mutually agreed upon by both parties, and free from intimidation. 

Our first responsibility is to our students. HWDSB’s contingency plan keeps schools open as long as possible, while maintaining health and safety. We continue to plan for labour disruption at HWDSB schools as workers respond to the Government of Ontario’s actions with an imposed deal. Our priority is to keep families informed as the situation evolves.” 

The Government of Ontario passed Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act. introduced on October 31, 2022.

This legislation imposes a collective agreement on the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and prevents CUPE labour action.  

A message to families have been shared Labour Update to Families-Nov 3

Learn more about Collective Bargaining for the education sector.

October 30, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

October 30, 2022: Chair’s statement on labour development 

“At HWDSB, CUPE represents caretakers and maintenance workers who are valued, integral staff members supporting student success. We are disappointed that bargaining has not progressed positively, leading to job action. If there is no central agreement between CUPE and the Government of Ontario, a strike may occur on Friday, November 4, 2022. 

We are asking the Minister of Education to consider a better deal that is supportive of CUPE education workers and does not cause further learning disruption for students. HWDSB schools will continue to operate this week as normal. We are planning to implement contingency measures to keep schools safely open as long as possible to reduce any impact on students.

Our priority continues to be student achievement, well-being, and safety. We remain committed to reaching fair, negotiated local agreements while maintaining positive long-term relationships with all staff.”

October 18, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

Board Chair Dawn Danko issued the following statement:

 “At HWDSB, CUPE represents caretakers and maintenance workers. They are highly valued in the education system and are integral to supporting student success.

 HWDSB is committed to keeping families and the community informed about any withdrawal of service with as much notice as possible. Contingency plans are in place should there be any job action.

 To date, HWDSB schools are operating as usual and our priority continues to be the improvement of student achievement and well-being. The earliest that CUPE can withdraw service is November 3, 2022.

 We have created a Labour Update section on the HWDSB website (https://hwdsb.info/LabourUpdates) to help keep our school communities and families up to date on the impacts of labour negotiations.

 As Chair, I will provide regular updates on this web page and through HWDSB’s social media. Let me assure you that there will be direct and timely communication using our email service to all families should there be changes that affect school operations.

HWDSB values all of our education workers and union groups. We are committed to reaching fair, negotiated local agreements while maintaining positive long-term relationships with all staff.”

Stay connected and when to expect communication:  

  • Families and the community are asked to stay informed by monitoring HWDSB social media  
  • Direct communication will be shared with families using phone and email should schools close or sanctions be lifted 
  • Visit the Labour Update page for additional updates: https://hwdsb.info/LabourUpdates. 

October 6, 2022: Chair's statement on labour development

In response to local media after a recent development, Board Chair Dawn Danko issued the following statement:

“We know families may have questions during the collective agreement bargaining process for our various union groups.  There are two stages of bargaining, one at the central table with the province, and the second is local bargaining.

We want HWDSB families to know that schools remain open as safe, welcoming places for students to learn.

At HWDSB, CUPE represents caretakers and maintenance workers. In the possible event of job action, we will inform families before any schools are impacted.

We value all employee groups in our district and want to see the province engage with each of them through respectful, meaningful, and constructive bargaining that addresses the needs and concerns of their members.

HWDSB is committed to reaching fair, negotiated local agreements while maintaining positive long-term relationships with our colleagues.”

Stay Informed

Visit the HWDSB Labour Update web page
Follow us on Twitter @hwdsb and Facebook @HWDSB
Subscribe to updates from the HWDSB website
Follow provincial developments on the Labour Relations web page of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.

 

Updated on Sunday, November 20, 2022.
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