Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) went back to business as usual after a support staff strike was averted Oct. 6.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the province negotiated a tentative deal that night, ending the threat of labour action. TLDSB was prepared to close schools had the strike gone ahead as planned Oct. 7.
The deal meant the end of any job action, including the work-to-rule Sept. 30-Oct. 4 leading into the strike threat. TLDSB schools also re-opened for community use.
CUPE Local 997 president William Campbell said there was relief from membership after the deal was made.
“Nobody wants to go on strike, and nobody wants the students to not be able to be going to school and getting their education,” Campbell said. “It was kind of a last resort.”
The provincial deal will still require ratification. Campbell said local votes will occur before the end of October.
CUPE said it will not disclose details of the deal until after members ratify it. TLDSB board of trustees chair Louise Clodd said she was happy about the agreement.
“We’re really very pleased a tentative agreement was reached,” Clodd said. “All our community school activities are now back on so we’re very happy about that.”
But even if the provincial deal is ratified, negotiations are not yet over for TLDSB. Campbell said they still need to negotiate a deal locally, with formal talks expected to begin in November.
“I don’t have any particular expectations,” he said. “We have a number of things that are important to our members that we will have proposals for.”
Clodd said she expects the two sides will be able to work out a deal. She added she does not think local negotiations will go like like provincial ones did.
“I would certainly predict that it will go much more smoothly,” she said.