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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.

Click date for update.

July 14, 2020: HWDSB and PSSP reach tentative local agreement

July 14, 2020: HWDSB and OCTU reach local agreement

June 23, 2020: HWDSB and HWETL (ETFO) reach tentative local agreement

May 26, 2020: HWDSB and OSSTF reach tentative local agreement

March 10, 2020: HWDSB and CUPE reach tentative local agreement

Feb. 26: Chair's Response to Letter re: Cuts to Education

HWDSB Trustees have received a letter from a constituent calling on them to speak out against cuts to public education in Ontario.

Please see the letter below with a response from HWDSB Board Chair Alex Johnstone.

Chair Letter – Public Education

ETFO Moves to Phase 6 of Work-to-Rule on Wednesday, Feb. 26

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) plans to escalate job action (Phase 6 Work-to-Rule) in school boards across the province starting Wednesday, Feb. 26. Phase 6 is expected to run until Friday, March 6. At HWDSB, ETFO represents permanent and occasional elementary teachers as well as our designated early childhood educators.

HWDSB elementary schools will remain open to students during Phase 6 of the job action, but we have been notified that ETFO members will do only their scheduled teaching and supervision assignments and will not agree to, or participate in, any additions or modifications to their schedule.

This will create operational challenges, but the safety and well-being of students will remain a priority.

OSSTF Walkout to Close Secondary Schools on Friday, Feb. 28

Please note that HWDSB secondary schools will be closed to students on Friday, Feb. 28, due to OSSTF strike action, unless an agreement is reached.

Secondary Parent Letter re Feb 28 Strike Date

Picket locations are expected to include all HWDSB secondary schools, the Hill Park Learning Centre and the Education Centre.

Community use of schools permits will operate only after 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28.

Picket locations for Feb. 21

Picket sites include: A.A. Greenleaf, Bernie Custis, Central, Dalewood, Dundas Valley, Education Centre, Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Glendale, Hess Street, Hill Park Learning Centre, Janet Lee, Memorial (City), Nora Frances Henderson, Parkdale, Orchard Park, Saltfleet, Sherwood, Sir Allan MacNab, Sir Winston Churchill, Prince of Wales, Ridgemount, Rousseau, Sir William Osle, Westdale, Westmount, and Waterdown.

For all schools/sites bolded, there will be a 2-3 minute time delay to enter the parking lot. OSSTF (OSSTF, OCTU PSSP and ESL Instructors) will stop vehicles at these locations.

Pickets will be set up at the Education Centre from 7:30 am until 2:30 pm. Cars will be stopped for 2-minutes at the entrance of the Education Centre parking lot on Friday from 7:30 am until 1:30 pm.  Please let me know if you need any further information.

Note to Education Centre Staff: To be good corporate partners, please don’t drive behind the strip mall (i.e. Mark’s Work Warehouse).

Feb. 14 - Letter re: ETFO and OSSTF Walkout on Feb. 21

Please see the letter to families about an upcoming walkout by both ETFO and OSSTF on Friday, February 21, 2020

Elementary and Secondary Parent Letter re Feb 21 Strike Date

Feb. 7 - Letter re ETFO Walkouts on Feb. 11 and Feb. 13

Please see the letter to families about upcoming walkout dates on Tuesday, February 11, and Thursday, February 13, 2020.

Elementary Parent Letter re Feb 11 and 13 Strike Dates

Picket locations for Feb. 6 and 7

We anticipate that picket lines on Feb. 6 and 7 will occur at 19 sites across HWDSB and our community: A.A. Greenleaf, Central, Cootes Paradise, Dalewood, Earl Kitchener, Education Centre, Franklin Road, George L. Armstrong, Janet Lee, Memorial City, Mountain View, MPP Donna Skelly’s Office, Parkdale, Prince of Wales, Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, Ridgemount, Rousseau and Sir William Osler.

February 4 - Notice of Upcoming Walkout Dates Affecting HWDSB on Feb. 11 and Feb. 13

ETFO has announced additional walkout dates, including a province-wide walkout Tuesday, February 11 and a walkout affecting some boards including HWDSB on Thursday, February 13.

More information will be share with our community.

January 30 - Picket Locations for Friday, January 31, ETFO Walkout

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will take part in a one-day walkout at HWDSB. If a deal is not reached, our elementary schools will be closed.

At this time, we anticipate picket lines will occur at 28 locations across HWDSB: Allan A. Greenleaf, Ancaster Meadow, Billy Green, Cathy Wever, Central, Cootes Paradise, Dalewood, Dr. Davey, Earl Kitchener, Education Centre, Franklin Road, G.L. Armstrong, Holbrook, Janet Lee, Lake Avenue, Mount Hope, Parkdale, Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, Memorial (City), Mountain View (SC), Prince of Wales, Queensdale, Ridgemount, Rousseau, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir William Osler and Winona.

January 27 - Notice of ETFO Walkout on Friday, January 31, Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7

ETFO will take part in a one-day walkout at HWDSB. If a deal is not reached, our elementary schools will be closed on:

Friday, January 31, 2020

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

Elementary Parent Letter – Strike Action_Updated Strike Dates

Notification has also been given that ETFO members will not participate in extracurricular activities at any time as of Monday, February 3, 2020

January 26 - Notice of ETFO Walkout on Friday, January 31

All HWDSB elementary schools will be closed to students on Friday, January 31, 2020 as a result of a one-day walkout by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Parents/guardians are required to make alternate childcare arrangements.

Important Letter: Elementary Parent Letter – Strike Action

Picket Line Information for Members of the Community

Picketing during a lawful strike is a legal right of protest (Ontario Labour Relations Act). This information is provided to ensure that members of the school community have information related to picket lines.

Crossing a picket line

All staff, students, parents and visitors have the right to cross picket lines without harassment or intimidation.

When crossing a picket line, calmly inform the picket captain that you wish to cross.

The picketers in a legal strike situation may stop an individual and speak to them for several minutes without breaking the law. Picketers may also pass out informational material which you may wish to accept.

Interactions with picketers

We encourage individuals crossing the picket line to not get involved in arguments or altercations with people on the picket line. Please do not try to force your way through the picket line. You may choose to explain the reason you are entering school property (e.g. picking up a child).

Intimidation or attempted intimidation of a person is unlawful.

Should difficulties arise preventing your entrance, you should immediately leave the scene, call the school office, and ask to speak to a principal or vice-principal.

Any criminal acts should be reported directly by the victim to the police.

When possible, individuals should try to minimize the number of times during the day that they cross a picket line. This will minimize class delays and wait times.

Vehicles

If you are driving through a picket line, please drive carefully to ensure that you do not injure a picketer. Pass through only when you have been permitted to do so.

Parents dropping off and picking up their children are encouraged to park off school property and walk to the school. If possible, consider carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles crossing the picket line.

While waiting to cross, individuals in vehicles should be careful to avoid blocking traffic on the road. It is suggested that individuals try to approach the school from the right side (so that they turn right into the driveway of the school), avoiding having to cross the road and waiting in the middle of the road.

Report Card Information - Elementary and Secondary

January 25: Frequently Asked Questions for Elementary and Secondary Report Cards

January 24: Term 1 Report Card Overview

As you may be aware, collective bargaining is still proceeding with the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

ETFO is currently engaged in four stages of legal job action. In the first stage, ETFO stated they will:

  1. NOT complete Term 1 Report Cards – teachers will provide the school administrator with a class list of marks for the various subjects/strands taught, or one brief comment per frame for the Kindergarten Communication of Learning;
  2. NOT undertake the role of report card administrator;
  3. NOT file the Progress Report, the Term 1 Report Card or the Kindergarten Communication of Learning.

Report cards are an important measure of student progress. HWDSB regrets that report cards will not be produced. There are several considerations that lead to this decision, including insufficient staff resources.

In HWDSB, there are approximately 36,000 elementary students whose marks are being written by hand and submitted on paper copies of class lists to our principals by the end of January. With approximately 120 elementary school administrators (principals and vice-principals), we are unable to find the resources required to complete this task.

This is an uncertain time in Ontario education. While we hope for an expedient resolution, we know that increased sanctions are possible. Our school administrators may be required to perform additional tasks for the remainder of the school year.

Parents/guardians are asked to contact their child’s teacher for questions about their child’s progress and their school administrator for further information.

Trustees strongly recognize that there is an urgent need for all three parties to reach a deal that is both fair to our staff and maintains our strong public education system for our students.

January 23, 2020: Statement by Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board 

“In response to questions we’ve received, HWDSB is offering further clarification to families regarding report cards. While respecting the collective bargaining process, HWDSB made the difficult decision to cancel term one report cards. This is due to insufficient resources and time for school administrators to electronically input data and to produce accurate report cards for our approximate 36,000 elementary students. We regret that report cards will not be produced as we know they are an important measure of student progress.

Collective bargaining is still proceeding with the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. There is an urgent need for all three parties to reach deal that is both fair to our staff and maintains our strong public education system for our students.”

January 22, 2020: Letter shared with the community that includes reference to Term 1 Report Cards

January 23, 2020

In response to questions we’ve received, HWDSB is offering further clarification to families regarding report cards. While respecting the collective bargaining process, HWDSB made the difficult decision to cancel term one report cards. This is due to insufficient resources and time for school administrators to electronically input data and to produce accurate report cards for our approximate 36,000 elementary students. We regret that report cards will not be produced as we know they are an important measure of student progress.

Collective bargaining is still proceeding with the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. There is an urgent need for all three parties to reach deal that is both fair to our staff and maintains our strong public education system for our students.

Sincerely,

Alex Johnstone
Chair of the Board

January 22, 2020

Letter for Elementary School Families

Please see the following letter shared with all families with children at HWDSB elementary schools.

Elementary Parent Letter – Labour Update Jan 22 2020

January 10, 2020

“Across Ontario, the unions representing employee groups in elementary and secondary schools are increasing their job action. We’re disappointed that talks continue to break down at the provincial negotiation tables. Locally, all of our HWDSB employees have a strong commitment to our students. We see this every day in their work to support student achievement, success, and well-being. We strongly urge provincial parties to reach a fair deal that honours education workers, supports learning in the classroom, and ensures entire school teams are available for our students. Our commitment during this time of uncertainty is to ensure that curriculum is delivered and that our students continue to learn in a safe environment. Our students deserve nothing less.”

Sincerely,
Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board 

Letters to Families

Elementary Parent Letter – Labour Update Jan 10 2020

Secondary Parent Letter – Labour Update Jan 10 2020

Details on Impacts

Impacts in secondary schools if one-day strike action occurs Jan. 15. Cancellations will end Jan. 16.
  • Secondary schools will be closed to students because student safety cannot be ensured.
  • Hill Park Learning Centre will have limited programming. Check with program contact for details.
  • Extra-curricular activities will be cancelled on Jan. 15.
  • Any secondary programs off of school property (e.g. Dual Credit and Co-op) will be cancelled.
  • Licensed child care in secondary schools will be open (Waterdown District Children’s Centre and Saltfleet Early Learning and Child Care Centre).
  • Community use permits will continue after 6 p.m.
  • OSSTF members will picket the following seven (7) secondary schools on Jan. 15: Bernie Custis, Dundas Valley, Orchard Park, Sir Allan MacNab, Waterdown, Westdale and Westmount. If you encounter a strike picket, please be respectful. Our teachers and education staff provide important services in our schools.
  • You do not need to call in your teen’s absence. Please consider making alternate arrangements for your teen, if you feel it is required. Secondary schools will reopen on Thursday, Jan. 16.
  • All public meetings are cancelled; Suspension and Expulsion meetings will proceed.
Impacts in elementary schools if one-day strike action occurs Jan. 15. Cancellations will end Jan. 16.
  • Elementary schools will remain open
  • Licensed child care will be open
  • Before- and After-School Programs are open
  • EarlyON Child and Family Centres are open
  • Community use permits continue
  • Hill Park Learning Centre will have limited programming. Check with program contact for details.
  • Wait times may increase when seeking entry to the school or calling the office. Please ensure your child enters the school safely if they arrive after the doors are locked. Use Safe Arrival to report a student absence. (www.hwdsb.on.ca/safearrival)
  • Please speak with your principal about the impact on specific events.
  • All public meetings are cancelled; Suspension and Expulsion meetings will proceed.
Impacts in elementary schools if ETFO Phase 3 work to rule occurs starting Monday, Jan. 13:
In addition to the sanctions begun on November 26, 2019, and December 10, 2019, starting Monday, January 13, 2020, all ETFO members will escalate to phase 3 of their work to rule.

This will have the following impacts at HWDSB elementary schools:

  • Field trips are cancelled for the week of January 13-17. All other planned field trips will be on hold until further notice.
  • All athletics and extra-curricular events occurring outside of the regular school day are cancelled until further notice.

January 8, 2020

“The Ministry of Education recommended that local boards make the decision to administer the province-wide Grade 9 Mathematics Assessment provided by the Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO). In HWDSB, this test was to be written January 13 – 24.

Due to job action, HWDSB has chosen to cancel the administration of the January 2020 Grade 9 EQAO Mathematics Assessment.

This test contributes to a portion of a student’s final mark in their Grade 9 Math course. Another method of evaluation suitable to the course content will replace the EQAO Assessment.

Trustees strongly advocate for the Ministry of Education to cancel the Grade 9 EQAO Mathematics Assessment in June, 2020. Grade 9 students in the second semester should be evaluated in the same manner as their peers from the first semester.

HWDSB will continue to communicate with families as we move through this labour disruption and further implications to student learning.

We strongly encourage that all parties reach an agreement that’s in the best interest of students.”

Sincerely, 

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board 

January 3, 2020

In some school boards, teachers and education workers represented by OSSTF will have another one-day, province-wide strike action on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, if no agreement is reached by then. HWDSB is NOT one of the boards identified. Our schools will be open January 8.

December 13, 2019

In some school boards, teachers and education workers represented by OSSTF will have another one-day, province-wide strike action on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, if no agreement is reached by then.

HWDSB is NOT one of the boards identified. Our schools will be open December 18.

December 6, 2019

In some school boards, teachers and education workers represented by OSSTF will have another one-day, province-wide strike action on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, if no agreement is reached by then.

HWDSB is NOT one of the boards identified. Our schools will be open December 11.

December 4, 2019

“HWDSB Trustees are deeply disappointed to learn that a tentative deal has not been reached provincially with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).

All HWDSB secondary schools will be closed to students on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Elementary schools and all child care centres will remain open.

Secondary students are being impacted by this one-day strike. We urge parents to be informed about the issues, to know what is at stake and to speak out.

An increase in class size means less caring adults in our schools and a reduction of course offerings in all pathways that lead to graduation: apprenticeships, college, community, university, and work.

There is a critical need to reach a deal provincially that preserves current learning environments and ensures there is no disruption to student learning – it’s what Hamilton families want and what our students deserve.”

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

Additional Information:

OSSTF confirm one-day job action will occur on Wednesday, December 4.

As result of this evening’s press conference statements provided by the Minister of Education and OSSTF, and pending no further announcements, Hamilton families prepare for a one-day strike at the secondary level.

Contingency Planning for HWDSB Families 

OSSTF announced that all of their teachers and education workers will participate in a one-day, province-wide full withdrawal of services on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

In addition to the permanent and occasional teachers involved, the bargaining groups within OSSTF at HWDSB include office clerical supporting elementary and secondary schools, technical staff, professional student services personnel including behaviour analysts, speech and language, psycho-educational consultants, a kinesiologist, and social workers, as well as English as a Second Language instructors.

If no agreement is reached and there is a full withdrawal of service, the following will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2019:

  • CLOSED TO STUDENTS: All secondary schools
  • OPEN: All elementary schools
  • OPEN: Licensed child care– including the two operating in secondary schools, Waterdown District Children’s Centre and Saltfleet Early Learning and Child Care Centre
  • OPEN: Before- and After-School Programs
  • OPEN: EarlyONChild and Family Centres
  • OPEN: Community use permits at all locations

HWDSB’s Contingency Planning Committee will continue to formalize communication to families related to this escalation in job action.

Picket Information 

OSSTF members will picket the following eight (8) secondary schools on December 4, 2019:

  • Bernie Custis
  • Westmount
  • Westdale
  • Orchard Park
  • Ancaster
  • Dundas Valley
  • Sir Allan MacNab
  • Waterdown

They will not picket the Education Centre of Hill Park Learning Centre.

For more information, click Picket Line Information for Members of the Community.

December 3, 2019

Unless a deal is reached tonight, all HWDSB secondary schools will be closed Wednesday, December 4 due to a one-day, province-wide strike. Elementary schools are open.

Communication with families if there is a change in job action tonight will be through social media, our website: http://hwdsb.on.ca, local media, and a phone call home to families of secondary students by 6:00 a.m.

December 2, 2019

A one-day OSSTF strike action is possible on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. The following letter indicates how this would impact HWDSB schools.

Parent Letter – Labour Update Dec 2 2019

November 29, 2019

“HWDSB Trustees are concerned that escalated job action will directly impact student learning. If a deal is not reached provincially, OSSTF will fully withdraw services forcing secondary schools across Ontario to close to students on for one day on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. This is about more than just a one day protest. At the centre of this dispute is increase to class size. Parents, we urge you to be informed about the issues, to know what is at stake and to speak out.

Trustees have strongly stood against increased class size. The implications are clear: Less caring adults in our schools and a reduction in course offerings in all five pathways. For a University bound student, this may mean wait lists and the difficult choice of taking a course that is not applicable to their future career. It could also mean delaying graduation. For our most vulnerable student, this may mean a further commute to access the right program and risk disengagement from school.

In 2018-19 Trustees worked hard to curb the impact of increased class size by redirecting local contingency funds to protect as many courses as possible. We cannot afford to continue managing these cuts in education without a disruption to school operations.

If this settlement is reached without provisions to protect class size, generations of students will lose potential opportunities that they otherwise would have received. This is detrimental to our future – both socially and financially. We must continue to preserve the current learning environments for all students.

It is our hope that negotiations will be settled provincially, that there will be no disruption to student learning, and that the highest standard of education will be upheld – it’s what Hamilton families want and what our students deserve.”

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

Contingency Planning for HWDSB Families 

OSSTF announced that all of their teachers and education workers will participate in a one-day, province-wide full withdrawal of services on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 if a new agreement is not reached between them and the Provincial government before then.

In addition to the permanent and occasional teachers involved, the bargaining groups within OSSTF at HWDSB include office clerical supporting elementary and secondary schools, technical staff, professional student services personnel including behaviour analysts, speech and language, psycho-educational consultants, a kinesiologist, and social workers, as well as English as a Second Language instructors.

If no agreement is reached and there is a full withdrawal of service, the following will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2019:

  • CLOSED TO STUDENTS: All secondary schools
  • OPEN: All elementary schools
  • OPEN: Licensed child care– including the two operating in secondary schools, Waterdown District Children’s Centre and Saltfleet Early Learning and Child Care Centre
  • OPEN: Before- and After-School Programs
  • OPEN: EarlyONChild and Family Centres
  • OPEN: Community use permits at all locations

HWDSB’s Contingency Planning Committee will continue to formalize communication to families related to this escalation in job action.

Picket Information 

OSSTF members will picket the following eight (8) secondary schools on December 4, 2019:

  • Bernie Custis
  • Westmount
  • Westdale
  • Orchard Park
  • Ancaster
  • Dundas Valley
  • Sir Allan MacNab
  • Waterdown

They will not picket the Education Centre of Hill Park Learning Centre.

For more information, click Picket Line Information for Members of the Community.

November 28, 2019

HWDSB’s contingency planning committee is meeting to discuss the implications of OSSTF’s escalated job action recently announced. A statement by the Chair of the Board, Alex Johnstone will be shared on the morning of Friday, November 29, 2019 with further details and a response.

November 26, 2019

As labour developments continue in Ontario education, HWDSB continues to value its staff and the community organizations that support programs and services in HWDSB schools.

HWDSB City Hamilton Letter to Families Nov 26 2019

November 25, 2019

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board remains focused on student achievement, safety and well-being. It is important to keep students, families and the community aware of the current provincial labour situation impacting education. We value our staff as well as the collective bargaining process; we hope a resolution can be made quickly.

Effective Tuesday, November 26, the following employee groups will engage in work-to-rule job action.

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which includes permanent and occasional elementary teachers as well as our designated early childhood educators
  • The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), which includes permanent and occasional secondary teachers, office clerical and technical staff, professional student services personnel and English as a Second Language instructors

At this time, school closures or disruptions to extra-curricular activities are not expected as a result of this job action.

Work-to-rule action will impact Ministry of Education and school board administrative tasks. This means elementary and secondary staff in our schools are withdrawing from certain administrative activities/work for the duration of the work-to-rule action.

We have been advised that OSSTF and ETFO are not participating in any school board or Ministry of Education professional learning. This is why we sincerely appreciate that both groups at HWDSB are willing to participate in the Professional Activity Day on Friday, November 29, which is dedicated to bullying prevention and intervention training.

Licensed child care, before- and after-school programs, and EarlyON Child and Family Centres will continue to operate in schools during this initial phase of job action as well as if matters escalate to a full withdrawal of service. The City of Hamilton and HWDSB’s child care partners continue to prepare for contingency plans and will communicate directly with families.

Elementary members will not:

  • Participate in activities related to the Fundamentals of Math Strategy
  • Participate in any Ministry of Education online training or webinars
  • Participate in any Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) related activities
  • Attend staff/division/grade team meetings
  • Participate in school board/school improvement planning activities
  • Respond to electronic communications from the school administrator/supervisor outside of the instructional day (unless for reasons of personal/student safety or support for students with special needs)
  • Participate in any school board committees (with the exception of School Council, staffing committees, labour management committees or health and safety committees)

Impacted members at the elementary level will participate in a Solidarity Action by meeting outside the main entrance of their workplace and entering together 15 minutes before the start of the instructional day.

Secondary members will not:

  • Participate in EQAO preparation or testing
  • Participate in the completion/submission of Ministry of Education data reports
  • Participate in school board professional activities based on Ministry of Education or school board Initiatives
  • Participate in unpaid staff meetings outside the regular school day
  • Provide comments on any secondary provincial report cards
  • Perform the work of another bargaining unit, even if directed by administration

HWDSB is committed to communicating with its communities as developments occur. Families are encouraged to speak with their school principal if they have any questions about their school or their child’s learning needs.

Sincerely,

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

November 18, 2019

“As we’re learning more about job action in the province and locally here at HWDSB, parents should know that we will do everything we can to ensure students receive no disruptions to their learning. We’re here for our students and we will work hard to protect their best interests.  

In 2013 and 2015, similar job actions were taken provincially that impacted us locally in Hamilton. We learned that we can work through negotiations and find a solution. We will do it again for our students.  

The sanctions are being reviewed and contingency plans are in place. We’re committed to student achievement, safety and well-being. Communication with families during this time is a priority.  

Locally, we continue to meet with our union groups. We remain hopeful that the province and ETFO will return to the bargaining table to find a resolution.” 

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

Facts: 

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federations of Ontario has announced the start of phase one work-to-rule starting on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
  • At HWDSB, this will impact our permanent and occasional elementary teachers as well as our designated early childhood educators.
  • In addition, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation is also in a strike position as of Monday, November 18, 2019.
  • This will impact permanent and occasional secondary teachers, office clerical and technical staff, professional student services personnel and English as a Second Language instructors.
  • At this time, we have not received the official five-day notice before calling any strike action. This timeframe will allow us to prepare and inform our community.

October 7, 2019

“We’re pleased the Council of Trustees’ Association and the provincial government have successfully negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education worker.

All job action sanctions are lifted and our schools are returning to business as normal.

School- and system-based activities, including extracurriculars, will resume on Monday, October 7, 2019 at the discretion of the principal or the organizer. Instructional Periods Outside of the School Day will also resume, October 7.

Athletics, however, will resume Tuesday, October 8 and staff/coaches are in the process of rescheduling postponed sporting events.

Community Use of Schools/Rental permits will be reinstated. Information has been shared with the school staff that permit users can access our facilities effective immediately.”

Sincerely,

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

October 6, 2019

“HWDSB Board of Trustees are pleased to confirm that a tentative agreement was reached at the provincial negotiation tables. On Monday, October 7th, schools will be open and our valued caretakers and maintenance staff will rejoin our school teams.

We sincerely appreciate the patience from our families in these challenging times. With the deal and sanctions lifted, we want to ensure our community that we will return to normal operations as soon as possible.

Every attempt will be made to contact the before-school programs and child care providers this evening. There could be service delays tomorrow before school. Please contact your local provider.

Today’s announcement is a positive step that offers both a fair deal for our workers while putting students front and centre by ensuring they have the full support of their school’s entire staff team. Our students deserve the very best from all of us.”

Sincerely,

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board

Additional Updates (Last revised, Sunday, October 6):

  • All childcare providers, EarlyON centres, authorized rec and before-and after-school program partners have confirmed that all programs will resume regular operations tomorrow, October 7, 2019.
  • We will communicate information related to Community Use of Schools/Rentals tomorrow.
  • Athletics will continue with Cross Country and Junior Tennis on Monday as scheduled. All other athletics will commence later this week. Schools will provide updates.

October 4, 2019

On October 3, we shared information with families about our decision to keep our schools open, with a contingency plan, should an agreement not be reached and CUPE withdrawals all service starting Monday, October 7, 2019. Our priority remains student learning and safety.

A reminder that our schools will remain open to the students and to the public only during the instructional day (15 minutes before classes begin and 15 minutes after classes end)

What does our contingency plan include?

HWDSB’s contingency plan supports our schools being safe, clean and open. Approximately 130 non-union staff will be deployed to schools to support our principals and vice-principals in maintaining learning environments for students.

Non-union staff will be engaged in essential cleaning for the purpose of health and safety.

Priority cleaning will be done by our principals/vice-principals and non-union staff.

Examples include:

  • flushing of water
  • cleaning spills
  • cleaning washrooms
  • removal of inside garbage
  • cleaning cafeterias in Secondary Schools
  • wiping classroom desks in Elementary Schools

What can parents expect?

Our main priority will be cleaning inside the buildings. Our focus is to ensure our schools are safe and sustainable as we implement the contingency plan.

We will be monitoring daily for any potential risks of the contingency plan. We will be looking at the impact on our Health and Safety requirements, student well-being and staff culture. Our commitment is frequent communication with families and our community.

We’ve heard from many parent volunteers who wish to help clean in our schools and we respectfully have to decline this offer of support.

Sincerely,

Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board 

Additional Updates:

  • Community Use of Schools/Rentals: From October 5 to 20, all rental permits on any board property are cancelled. Recurring permit holders will see a credit applied to their November payments for any uses cancelled for which they have already paid.
  • Extra-curricular activities: All extra-curricular activities are cancelled.
  • Athletics: Elementary Cross Country will continue on Monday October 7, 8 and 10. Secondary Junior Tennis, which is being held on Monday, October 7, 2019.  These one-time events are carried over from this week.
  • Public Health: All immunization performed in schools, dental and vision screenings are postponed.
  • Child care: The City of Hamilton and HWDSB are working closely together to minimize impacts to families and children accessing licensed child care and before and after-school programs. We recognize that the cancellations and modifications are challenging for families and staff. For those families that are currently in receipt of child care fee subsidies, there will be no change to their current subsidy.
  • Instructional Periods Outside of the School Day: Some schools schedule credit granting courses during instructional periods outside of the formal school day, typically for arts learning connected to bands or orchestras (e.g. Jazz Band, Repertoire Band). Typically, these programs are scheduled prior to the school day and some after school. These programs parallel extra-curricular in terms of supervision and time at school.

Instructional Periods Outside of the School Day will be on pause until further notice beginning Monday, October 7, 2019, if the anticipated job action occurs. The pause will not cause an academic penalty or place credits at risks—students will continue to earn a credit based on their achievement in these programs. The pause will be assessed on an on-going basis and next steps will be shared with the community.

Resumption of cancelled or postponed events will be announced by HWDSB.

October 3, 2019

HWDSB received official notice that on Monday, October 7, 2019, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents about 500 HWDSB caretakers and maintenance workers, may take strike action in the form of a full withdrawal of service.

The strike is a province-wide job action taken as a collective agreement has not been reached between the Government of Ontario and CUPE. HWDSB is planning to implement contingency measures to keep schools safe, clean and open.

Please see the following letter regarding what families can expect starting on Monday, October 7, 2019:

Parent Letter – Labour Update Oct 3 2019 final

October 2, 2019

HWDSB is working through the information presented by CUPE that escalates job action from work-to-rule to a strike as of October 7, 2019.
 
Contingency plans are being considered. Information will be shared with families no later than tomorrow, October 3, 2019.

September 30, 2019

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents HWDSB caretakers and maintenance workers, started job action as of Monday, September 30, 2019. An agreement was not reached at the Central Bargaining table and this labour response is directed at the provincial government.

As a Board, we are responding to the local implications of these actions and making student safety and well-being a priority.

Job action includes a number of work-to-rule instructions by the local employee group that may have an impact on the school facility. Staff are reviewing all options to ensure that our school environments are safe and healthy and that we maintain student learning during this time.

Contingency plans are in place to ensure that floors are swept in gymnasiums, hallways and entrances, garbage is cleared and health and safety requirements are maintained.

While before-and after school care, authorized recreation programs, elementary Meet the Teachers nights and School Council meetings, for example, continue to operate, we have cancelled all elementary and secondary Community Use of Schools permit holders. These include external users who access HWDSB facilities after 6:00 p.m. and on the weekend.

Cancellation of Community Use of Schools rentals is due to the health and safety related concerns. In addition, our contingency efforts are being directed to support student programming.

We will continue to reassess on a weekly basis and continue to communicate with partners and families. We thank families for their patience as Central Bargaining with the provincial government continues.

For a complete list of what is operating in schools and what is postponed, visit the Labour Update sections on the website.

List of what’s operating and postponed

The following will continue The following are postponed or cancelled
  • Before- and After-school care
  • Authorized Recreation Programs
  • Partnerships with formal agreements
  • International Language Education (Check for some modifications)
  • Reciprocal agreements with the City of Hamilton
  • Field rentals
  • Elementary Meet the Teacher Nights
  • Parent meetings such as School Council and Home & School Associations
  • System professional learning
  • Election permits, including advanced polls
  • Athletics
  • All elementary and secondary Community Use of Schools permit holders – this includes external users accessing HWDSB facilities after 6:00 p.m. and weekends
  • Bernie Custis Secondary School official opening event on October 4, 2019
  • Waterdown District High School field opening event on October 4 (Game will continue)
  • Hamilton Foundation for Student Success Donor Appreciation Event on October 10, 2019

September 26, 2019

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing education workers across the province has indicated they will begin job action in the form of “Work to Rule” on Monday, September 30, 2019. At HWDSB, CUPE represents caretakers and maintenance workers.

What this will look like in our schools?

All HWDSB schools and EarlyON, early learning and child care centres will remain open and learning will continue in our classrooms. CUPE staff will continue to report to work on Monday, September 30, 2019.

We will provide students with a safe and welcoming places to learn. We are focused on the learning and well-being of our students.

We are pleased to hear CUPE is scheduled to return to the central bargaining table this weekend. Productive discussions are also continuing locally. HWDSB is committed to reaching fair, negotiated local agreements while maintaining positive long-term relationships with all of our colleagues.

We will keep our community informed as developments continue.

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 Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
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