UPDATE: Public board prepares to close schools if OSSTF walks

The Greater Essex County District School Board Administrative Office. (Photo by Alexandra Latremouille)

The Greater Essex County District School Board is watching contract talks between the province and the union that represents public high school teachers very closely.

Not only does the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation represent those teachers, but it also represents educational support workers in public elementary and secondary schools in Windsor-Essex.

Unless the two sides can reach a deal, those workers will walk off the job in a one-day strike Wednesday. The board is asking parents to check their official website for the latest information.

In the event of a walk-out, the English public board said it would close all schools.

School buses to public high and elementary schools will be cancelled, and five Early On centres will shut down. Those centres are at Begley, West Gate, Roseville, Queen Elizabeth, and John Campbell Public Schools. School-based daycare centres may be open. Parents are urged to check with their provider.

For companies hosting co-op students, they will not report to their placements.

The Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women (W5) Career Day, scheduled for Wednesday at W.C. Kennedy Collegiate, has been postponed until February 19, 2020.

Curiosity Club and YMCA Kids Club will also be cancelled.

Schools, Early On centres, co-op placements, and school bus transportation will resume on Thursday, December 5.

The closures will not impact Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Windsor-Essex.

The walkout comes just as a work-to-rule campaign by public elementary school teachers enters a second week. Those teachers will not be attending certain meetings, but the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario said the action would not impact in-class learning.