Mississauga and Brampton schools switch to online learning in protest against education workers

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By Ryan Rumbolt

Published on November 2, 2022 at 10:01 am

Public school students in Mississauga and Brampton prepare for asynchronous online learning as education workers across Ontario stage a protest against forced contract legislation Friday (November 4).

Workers such as early childhood educators, teacher’s aides and janitors plan to quit their jobs on Friday, despite looming legislation introduced Monday by Ontario’s Conservative government imposing contracts on about 55,000 workers at the education in the province and prohibiting them from striking.

For Mississauga and Brampton, this means approximately 2,500 education staff will not be at work during the protest, leading the Peel District School Board (PDSB) to close all schools in Mississauga and Brampton for the day.

All K-12 students will participate in asynchronous home learning on Friday.

Students will log into their virtual learning environments to pick up their homework on Friday, with teachers and support staff available remotely.

Sports and extracurricular activities scheduled for Friday will be cancelled, as will international language programs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

All daycares, EarlyON centers and before and after school programs will also be closed.

Balanced-schedule schools will continue their PA day on Friday as scheduled.

The PDSB said it was monitoring the situation and would notify parents on the board’s website.

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board said Monday it is monitoring the situation and will share information with parents through SchoolMessenger, social media and its website.

CUPE said it plans to fight the legislation, which provides for 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 these fines.

The Ontario Conservative government’s offer to education workers is a 2.5% wage increase for employees earning less than $25.95 an hour and 1.5% for those who earn more – an offer the union says is “inadequate” as protection against job cuts.

The offer does not include paid prep time for education workers who work directly with students, and a reduction in the sick/short-term disability plan.

The Ontario government says it intends to invoke the notwithstanding clause to prevent a strike, which gives provincial legislatures or Parliament the ability, by passing legislation, to override certain parties to the charter for a term of five years.

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