Skip to Main Content

Labour Relations

This webpage provides information to UGDSB parents/guardians, students, staff and school community members regarding labour relations affecting the school system. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.​ 


Labour Updates

In the UGDSB, CUPE represents custodial and maintenance staff and ESL Instructors in our Adult ESL Continuing Education program.


February 27, 2020

The Upper Grand District School Board and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 256 are pleased to announce that they have ratified the tentative collective agreements reached on January 17 (Caretaking and Maintenance Bargaining Unit) and February 6, 2020 (English as a Second Language Bargaining Unit).

The agreements cover the period from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2022.

For more information, please visit: https://www.ugdsb.ca/blog/ugdsb-and-cupe-local-256-ratify-tentative-agreements/


February 6, 2020

CUPE Local 256 ESL Unit and the Upper Grand District School Board have reached a tentative agreement at the local bargaining table. Members will vote on the tentative agreement on February 14, 2020. 


January 17, 2020

CUPE Local 256 and the Upper Grand District School Board have reached a tentative agreement at the local bargaining table. Members will vote on the tentative agreement on February 1, 2020. 


November 4, 2019

The central agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing 55,000 education workers across the province has been ratified by school boards and the union, and agreed to by the Government of Ontario. 


October 6, 2019

On Sunday Oct. 6, the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the provincial government reached a tentative agreement with CUPE. As such, CUPE has agreed to stop all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal. 

All UGDSB schools will be open on Monday Oct. 7. 


October 4, 2019

As you may be aware, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) intends to engage in a full withdrawal of services effective Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. 

In the UGDSB, CUPE represents custodial and maintenance staff, and ESL Instructors in our Adult ESL Continuing Education program. In the UGDSB, we have 34 elementary and 9 secondary schools with CUPE custodial employees (out of 76 schools). Maintenance at all UGDSB schools and board sites is performed by CUPE members. 

All UGDSB CUPE schools and board sites will be open on Monday, Oct. 7. 

However, there may be picket lines at some schools that you may encounter. This may cause delays throughout the day, but in particular at drop-off and pick-up times. 

Please be aware that this is a fluid and changing situation. Each day, we will assess our schools for health and safety considerations. If in the event a school has to close the next day, parents will be notified by their school principal by phone as soon as possible. Information regarding school closures will be posted on school and board websites. 

We know that this may cause a disruption to families; we value our CUPE employees and thank you for your understanding. 

Please visit the board website for on-going updates at ugdsb.ca/labour


October 2, 2019

On Oct. 2, 2019, CUPE gave 5-days’ notice that they were going to escalate job action, with full strike action starting across the province on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. The CUPE work to rule campaign will continue in the meantime. Provincial negotiations may continue this week and into the weekend. 

All UGDSB CUPE schools and board sites will be open on Monday, Oct. 7. 

In the UGDSB, CUPE represents custodial and maintenance staff, and ESL Instructors in our Adult ESL Continuing Education program. In the UGDSB, we have 34 elementary and 9 secondary schools with CUPE custodial employees (out of 76 schools). Maintenance at all UGDSB schools and board sites is performed by CUPE members. 

There will be an impact on UGDSB CUPE schools and board sites, including possible picket lines affecting vehicular traffic, and possible bus delays (including field trips). All Community Use will be cancelled at CUPE schools and board sites as of Monday Oct. 7. Commencement ceremonies at various secondary schools will proceed as scheduled.

School administrators will monitor their schools for any health and safety concerns. The safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. The board will continue to monitor the situation closely.


September 25, 2019

On Sept. 25, 2019, CUPE announced provincially that it would begin Phase 1 of work-to-rule job action, starting on Sept. 30, 2019. The job action involves a partial withdrawal of services. 

In the UGDSB, CUPE represents Custodial and Maintenance employees, and ESL Instructors.

During Phase 1 of job action, certain job responsibilities will not be completed in schools. At this time, all schools will remain open. School administrators will monitor their schools for any health and safety concerns. 

The safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. The board will continue to monitor the situation closely.

In the UGDSB, ETFO represents elementary teachers and occasional teachers.


Central agreements ratified

April 28, 2020

The central agreements with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA), and the ETFO Education Workers and the Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA) have now been ratified.


Tentative agreement reached at the central table

March 20, 2020

On March 20, the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the provincial government reached a tentative agreement with ETFO. The details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties. ETFO has agreed to suspend all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal. 


All UGDSB elementary and secondary schools to close Feb. 21, unless one-day strike is averted

February 12, 2020

On Friday February 21, 2020, all schools in the Upper Grand District School Board will be closed to students, due to a province-wide, one-day strike by several education unions.

If this strike proceeds, all UGDSB schools (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Feb. 21. Transportation for all UGDSB students will be cancelled. 

At this time, we do not know the dates of any other potential strike dates that could impact our schools. We will continue to provide updates as soon as information becomes available.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to this one-day strike. 

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families. 

For further information please: 

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


ETFO strikes: All UGDSB elementary schools to close Feb. 10 & 11 – Secondary schools to remain open

February 5, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that its elementary teachers and occasional teachers will participate in one-day strikes next week. The Upper Grand District School Board will be included in two of these strikes: on Monday Feb. 10 and Tuesday Feb. 11.

If these strikes proceed, all UGDSB elementary schools will be closed to students on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11. At this time, UGDSB secondary schools will remain open to students and will operate as usual. Transportation for elementary students on Feb. 10 and 11 will be cancelled; transportation for secondary students will run as normal. 

These strikes are in addition to the February 6th ETFO strike, which will close UGDSB elementary schools on Thursday February 6th. At this time, we do not know the dates of any potential strikes by other unions that could also impact our schools. We will continue to provide updates as soon as information becomes available.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to these one-day strikes. 

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families. 

For further information please: 

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


ETFO strikes: All UGDSB elementary schools to close Feb. 4 & 6 – Secondary schools to remain open

January 27, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that its elementary teachers and occasional teachers will take part in additional one-day strikes in various locations across Ontario the week of Feb. 3-7, 2020. The Upper Grand District School Board will be impacted by these one-day strikes on Tuesday Feb. 4 and Thursday Feb. 6, 2020.

If these strikes proceed, all UGDSB elementary schools will be closed to students on Feb. 4 and Feb. 6, 2020. UGDSB secondary schools will remain open to students and will operate as normal. Transportation for elementary students will be cancelled. Transportation for secondary students will run as normal.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to these one-day strikes.

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families.​

For further information please:

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


ETFO Jan. 28 strike: All UGDSB elementary schools to close - UGDSB secondary schools will remain open

January 23, 2020

On January 23, 2020, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its elementary teachers and occasional teachers will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in select locations across Ontario on Tuesday Jan. 28. The Upper Grand District School Board is listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 28 strike.

If this strike proceeds, all UGDSB elementary schools will be closed to students. UGDSB secondary schools will remain open to students and will operate as normal. Jan. 28 is an exam day in secondary schools; exams will continue as scheduled. Transportation for elementary students will be cancelled. Transportation for secondary students will run as normal.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to the one-day strike.

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families.​

For further information please:

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


ETFO update: Jan. 29-31 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB)

Updated January 27, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that on Jan. 29, Jan. 30, and Jan. 31, ETFO members in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario:

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 29-31 ETFO strikes.


ETFO update: Jan. 27 strike in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB) 

January 22, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that on Monday Jan. 27, ETFO members in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario:

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 27 ETFO strike.


Updated January 19, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that on Monday Jan. 20, Tuesday Jan. 21, Wednesday Jan. 22, Thursday Jan. 23, and Friday Jan. 24, ETFO members in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario:

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 20-24 ETFO strikes.


January 9, 2020

On Jan. 9, ETFO gave notice that effective Monday Jan. 13, 2020, the union representing elementary teachers and occasional teachers will begin Phase 3 of work-to-rule job action. ETFO also gave notice that effective Monday Jan. 20, 2020, ETFO will begin Phase 4 of job action.

Details of the Phase 3 and 4 work-to-rule strike protocol are available on ETFO’s website: https://etfocb.ca/strike-protocol-work-to-rule-phases-34/


December 6, 2019

On Dec. 6, ETFO gave notice that effective Tuesday Dec. 10, 2019, the union representing elementary teachers and occasional teachers in the UGDSB will begin Phase 2 of work-to-rule strike action. 

Details of the Phase 2 work-to-rule strike protocol are available on ETFO’s website: https://etfocb.ca/strike-protocol-work-to-rule-phase-2/


November 21, 2019

All UGDSB schools will be open during Phase 1 of work-to rule. The board will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update this website with information from our union partners as it becomes available.


November 14, 2019

On Nov. 14, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced it will begin Phase 1 of work-to-rule strike action across the province on Tuesday Nov. 26, 2019.

ETFO has posted details outlining its Phase 1 work-to-rule protocol online: https://etfocb.ca/strike-protocol-work-to-rule-phase-1/

In the UGDSB, OSSTF represents secondary teachers and secondary occasional teachers, as well as education workers in UGDSB elementary and secondary schools and board offices, including Office Clerical Technical Staff, Educational Support Staff such as Educational Assistants (EAs) and Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), and Professional Student Services Staff such as Child and Youth Counsellors, Social Workers and Psychologists.


OSSTF central agreements ratified

May 22, 2020

The central agreements with teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) have been ratified by school boards and the union and agreed to by the Government of Ontario.


Tentative agreement reached at the central table

April 20, 2020

On April 20, it was announced that the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the provincial government reached tentative agreements with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and the OSSTF Education Workers. The details of the agreements remain confidential until ratified by all parties. 


All UGDSB elementary and secondary schools to close Feb. 28, unless provincial one-day strike is averted

February 21, 2020

On Friday February 28, 2020, all schools in the Upper Grand District School Board will be closed to students, due to a one-day strike by OSSTF.

If this strike proceeds, all UGDSB schools (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Feb. 28. Transportation for all UGDSB students will be cancelled. 

At this time, we do not know the dates of any other potential strike dates that could impact our schools. We will continue to provide updates as soon as information becomes available.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to this one-day strike. 

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families. 

For further information please: 

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


All UGDSB elementary and secondary schools to close Feb. 21, unless provincial one-day strike is averted

February 12, 2020

On Friday February 21, 2020, all schools in the Upper Grand District School Board will be closed to students, due to a province-wide, one-day strike by several education unions.

If this strike proceeds, all UGDSB schools (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Feb. 21. Transportation for all UGDSB students will be cancelled. 

At this time, we do not know the dates of any other potential strike dates that could impact our schools. We will continue to provide updates as soon as information becomes available.

Parents/guardians of elementary students are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to this one-day strike. 

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families. 

For further information please: 

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.


OSSTF update: Jan. 21 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB); additional sanctions beginning Jan. 20

January 15, 2020

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that on Tuesday Jan. 21, OSSTF teachers and education workers in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario: https://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/news/mr-jan-15-2020.aspx

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 21 OSSTF job action.

OSSTF also announced additional sanctions that will begin on January 20, 2020: https://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/news/mr-jan-15-2020.aspx


All UGDSB schools closed Wednesday Jan. 15

January 15, 2020

On January 15, all UGDSB schools (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) are closed to students due to the one-day OSSTF strike. Schools will re-open to students on January 16.

TRANSPORTATION: Buses/student transportation for all UGDSB students is cancelled.

COMMUNITY USE OF SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE: Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families.​


OSSTF update: Jan. 15 strikes to include UGDSB - All Upper Grand DSB schools to close, unless strike is averted

January 10, 2020

On January 10, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced that its teachers and education workers will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in select locations across Ontario on January 15, 2020. The Upper Grand District School Board is listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 15 job action.

In the UGDSB, OSSTF represents five distinct groups of employees:

  • Secondary Teachers and Secondary Occasional Teachers (secondary schools and Continuing Education)
  • Educational Assistants (elementary and secondary schools)
  • Early Childhood Educators (elementary schools)
  • Office Clerical Technical Staff (elementary, secondary, and board sites)
  • Professional Student Support Personnel, such as Child and Youth Workers, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists and Psychologists (elementary and secondary schools)

This withdrawal of services causes significant impact to all UGDSB schools, including our capacity for effective supervision and ability to ensure student safety. As a result, if a deal is not reached and the one-day strike occurs, all schools in the UGDSB (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Wednesday Jan. 15.

Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to the one-day strike.

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families.​

For further information please:

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. 


OSSTF update: Jan. 8 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB)

January 3, 2020

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that on Wednesday Jan. 8, OSSTF teachers and education workers in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario: http://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/news/osstf-feeso-to-hold-one-day-walkout-in-selected-locations-on-january-8-2020.aspx

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Jan. 8 OSSTF job action.

Please continue to check www.ugdsb.ca/labour for updates.


OSSTF update: Dec. 18 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB)

December 13, 2019

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that on Wednesday Dec. 18, OSSTF teachers and education workers in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario: https://www.osstf.on.ca/news/osstf-feeso-to-hold-one-day-walkout-in-selected-locations-on-december-18-2019.aspx 

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Dec. 18 OSSTF job action. 

Please continue to check www.ugdsb.ca/labour for updates.


OSSTF update: Dec. 11 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB)

December 6, 2019

OSSTF has announced that on Wednesday Dec. 11, OSSTF teachers and education workers in some school boards will take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in selected locations across Ontario: http://www.osstf.on.ca/news/mr-dec-06-2019.aspx

The Upper Grand District School Board is not listed as one of the school boards that will be included in the Dec. 11 OSSTF job action. 

Please continue to check www.ugdsb.ca/labour for updates.


CONFIRMED - All UGDSB schools closed Dec. 4 due to one-day OSSTF strike

December 4, 2019

The OSSTF one-day strike has been confirmed. As such, all Upper Grand schools (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Wednesday Dec. 4.

Schools will re-open to students on Thursday December 5.

Please continue to check the board website for updates at www.ugdsb.ca/labour.

For additional details, please see the information posted on Friday Nov. 29


OSSTF Labour Update: All UGDSB schools closed to students on December 4, unless strike is averted

December 3, 2019

This is an important reminder for parents/guardians, that on Wednesday December 4th, all Upper Grand elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students, due to the province-wide, one-day OSSTF strike.

Unless the strike is averted, all Upper Grand schools will be closed to students on Wednesday. Schools will re-open to students on Thursday December 5th.

Please continue to check the board website for updates at www.ugdsb.ca/labour, especially early in the morning in case the strike is averted and we are able to open schools. Updates will also be posted on school websites and the UGDSB Twitter or Facebook pages.

For additional details, please see the information posted on Friday Nov. 29


OSSTF Labour Update: All UGDSB schools to close on December 4 if no deal is reached

November 29, 2019

A message to all parents/guardians in the Upper Grand District School Board (elementary and secondary):

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that, unless a deal is reached at the provincial bargaining table, all OSSTF members will conduct a one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) on Wednesday Dec. 4. OSSTF members will return to their school/work site and will resume normal activities on Thursday Dec. 5.

In the UGDSB, OSSTF represents five distinct groups of employees:

  • Secondary Teachers and Secondary Occasional Teachers (secondary schools and Continuing Education)
  • Educational Assistants (elementary and secondary schools)
  • Early Childhood Educators (elementary schools)
  • Office Clerical Technical Staff (elementary, secondary, and board sites)
  • Professional Student Support Personnel, such as Child and Youth Workers, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists and Psychologists (elementary and secondary schools)

This withdrawal of services causes significant impact to all UGDSB schools, including our capacity for effective supervision and ability to ensure student safety. As a result, if a deal is not reached and the one-day strike occurs, all schools in the UGDSB (elementary, secondary and Continuing Education) will be closed to students on Wednesday Dec. 4.

Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to begin making alternate arrangements for your children prior to the one-day strike.

Community Use of Schools and third-party operated child care centres will remain open during this labour action. Some Before and/or After School Programs may be operating and each operator will communicate directly with families.

Provincial bargaining will continue this weekend and we are hopeful that a resolution will be reached before Wednesday.

For further information please:

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. 


OSSTF announces full withdrawal of services for one day on Wednesday Dec. 4, 2019

November 28, 2019

On Thursday Nov. 28, 2019, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) representing teachers and education workers announced that on Wednesday Dec. 4, all of its members across the province of Ontario will participate in a one day “full withdrawal of services" unless a tentative agreement is reached at the provincial bargaining table.

OSSTF members will return to their school/work site and will resume normal activities on Thursday Dec. 5.

In the UGDSB, OSSTF represents 5 distinct groups of employees: Secondary Teachers, Secondary Occasional Teachers, Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Office Clerical staff and Professional Student Support personnel. 

We know that as parents and caregivers, it is important for you to know how this situation may affect you and your child. We are currently assessing the impact that this announcement will have on our system and as decisions are made, we will provide you with further updates.

For further information please:

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.


November 21, 2019

On Thursday Nov. 21, 2019, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) representing teachers and education workers announced it will begin information pickets and limited withdrawal of administrative services on Tuesday Nov. 26, 2019.

All UGDSB schools will be open during this job action. The board will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update this website with information from our union partners as it becomes available.

For more information, please visit the OSSTF website: http://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/news/mr-nov-21-2019.aspx

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

  1. All staff, students, parents and visitors have the right to cross picket lines without harassment or intimidation.
  2. When crossing a picket line, calmly inform the picket captain that you wish to cross.
  3. 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

  1. 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).
  2. Intimidation or attempted intimidation of a person is unlawful.
  3. 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.
  4. Any criminal acts should be reported directly by the victim to the police.
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Community Use - Possibility of disruptions during job action

During any job action, all Community Use permit holders in the UGDSB should closely monitor the status of their permits. All Community Use permits will be reviewed case-by-case and staff will communicate with permit holders directly if there will be disruption.

We thank you for your understanding.