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Labour Relations

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

There are two types of bargaining that occur. Central bargaining typically includes significant monetary and policy issues (e.g. compensation, benefits and paid leaves), while local negotiations typically involve non-monetary issues or matters that are specific to the local board. More information can be found here.

Current job action is related to central bargaining. 


Labour Updates

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


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 update: Jan. 21 strikes in some Ontario school boards (not UGDSB)

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

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


January 18, 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.

Important information about the Transportation website during strikes

The following contains important information about student transportation (busing) communication during a strike that results in the closure of schools to students. 

The Transportation Consortium (STWDSTS) provides student transportation services to 5 school boards (including the UGDSB) and a number of private schools in our area. Busing information is displayed on the STWDSTS website by “division”/geographic region. 

The STWDSTS website (www.stwdsts.ca) provides students, staff and parents with information on the status of school buses each morning as it relates to weather (e.g. All Ok, Buses Cancelled). The STWDSTS website was not designed to convey information about busing as it relates to job action and school closures as the result of a strike. 

Labour sanctions may impact school boards differently, and in many cases, students from different school boards are on the same bus route. 

On days where strikes close schools in any of the 5 school boards, the STWDSTS website will display a “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT” message, rather than displaying busing information. This message will direct all users to visit their school board’s homepage for current labour and transportation updates.

Where parents/students can get UGDSB busing information during labour disruption/strikes:

STWDSTS will continue to post cancellation information for individual bus routes on BusPlanner Web https://www.findmyschool.ca/Cancellations.aspx and will continue to share general information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stdwsts

The school board will post transportation information on its website only on days when the STWDSTS website displays the “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT” message. 

  • Scenario 1: UGDSB schools are open, but a different board is closed due to job action. Please check the board website at www.ugdsb.ca, or your school’s website, which will display transportation information by division at the top of the homepage. 
  • Scenario 2: UGDSB schools are closed due to job action. In that case, all student transportation services are cancelled for UGDSB students. The board website and all school websites will be updated with information regarding the closure of schools and cancellation of transportation for UGDSB students. 

SIGN UP FOR STWDSTS BUSING ALERTS: 

Parents, students and staff can sign up for STWDSTS email alerts to receive alerts regarding specific bus routes (however please note that in some cases a bus route may continue to run for students of one board even when transportation has been cancelled for students of a different board due to job action). To sign up visit: https://www.findmyschool.ca/Subscriptions/Login.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.

October 7, 2019

All Adult ESL Continuing Education classes are running as normal. 


Adult ESL Continuing Education classes re: potential CUPE strike

In the event of a provincial CUPE strike beginning Monday Oct. 7, all Adult ESL Continuing Education classes in the UGDSB will be cancelled. Classes will be cancelled at St. George’s Centre, Tytler Centre for Continuing Education and the Wellington Centre for Continuing Education in Guelph, as well as the Adult ESL class held in Orangeville.

All buildings will remain open on Monday Oct. 7 so Adult ESL learners can work individually on site from 9am-3:30pm. Childminding will be available for learners who are working in the classrooms.

Bus transportation that is typically provided to the sites has been cancelled for Monday Oct. 7.

Please be aware that this is a fluid and changing situation. Each day, we will assess the situation and provide updates at www.ugdsb.ca/labour.