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Union gearing up “for a fight” against school closures

The union for public school board education workers is “gearing up for a fight” against the a proposal to close up to 29 of the region’s elementary schools.

Representing educational assistants, custodians, school administrators and other support staff with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), the union’s leadership plans to work with community groups to oppose the closures and to call on the provincial government for changes to schools’ funding formula.

“Our locals …will work in partnership within our communities in order to push back against these closures,” said Sue Hanson, president of the local Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) chapter.

“It’s not a good scenario for our students; it really isn’t.”

A pupil accommodation review, a process that identified a total of 29 schools across the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) that are being considered for closure or consolidation, was approved at a board meeting last month.

In an open letter, CUPE argued a number of employees would be affected by the change, including office administrators, office assistants, custodial staff and other employees who wouldn’t be needed if the board had less physical infrastructure.

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