Canada’s largest school board to close Friday as education workers plan protest
Canada’s largest school board says it will close schools on Friday in response to a planned walkout from Ontario education workers protesting legislation that imposes a contract and bans a strike.
The Toronto District School Board says it has “no option” but to close for in-person learning without the important services of those employees.
The Ontario government introduced legislation Monday to impose a contract on education workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees — including librarians, custodians and early childhood educations — and avert a strike set to start Friday.
Without those workers, TDSB says it can’t guarantee school safety and cleanliness.
CUPE said its 55,000 education worker members will walk off the job Friday after the government announced the legislation that will use the notwithstanding clause to keep the eventual law in force.
The clause allows the legislature to override portions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a five-year term.
The legislation also sets out a strike ban with fines of up to $4,000 per employee per day and $500,000 for the union, with the union promising to foot the bill for any such fines.
Meanwhile, members of Ontario’s legislature were up early today after the Progressive Conservative government ordered the legislature back at 5 a.m. in order to speed up passage of the bill.
CUPE has said they will explore every avenue to fight the bill.
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