Tentative deal reached, CUPE strike averted

Elementary school students. (© Can Stock Photo / oksun70)

Parents will be able to send their children to school Monday as a tentative deal has been reached between the province and education support workers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) was involved in contract talks with the province throughout the weekend in an attempt to reach a deal and avoid a strike.

The deal was reached Sunday, allowing schools across the province to remain open and have classes resume as normal on Monday.

“Tonight, I am proud to confirm that parents can rest easy knowing that our government has worked tirelessly to ensure their children will be in the class tomorrow morning. I am pleased to confirm that an agreement has been reached between the crown, our government, CUPE, and the school board trustee associations that keep kids in class,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement released Sunday. “This is most welcome news for families and students and workers alike that schools will remain open across our province.”

The strike would have resulted in the cancellation of classes and all recreational and after-school programs.

CUPE represents roughly 55,000 custodians, maintenance workers, clerical workers, educational assistants, early childhood educators, and information technology staff.

Last Monday, the union began a work to rule campaign that saw members cease all extra duties not specifically outlined in their job descriptions and refuse any overtime hours.

The contract for the workers with CUPE expired on August 31.

With files from Scott Kitching