Mark Clairmont |

LINDSAY — Citing safety concerns, public elementary and high schools will be closed Monday if the province doesn’t reach a contract deal with support staff.

That’s leaving parents scrambling to plan alternative arrangements for their children.

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has informed them that they plan to start full withdrawal of all services across the province on Monday, October 7, 2019.

The school board says it “carefully assessed the potential impact on school operations and determined that student safety cannot be ensured.”

They said in release Friday, “therefore all TLDSB schools will be closed to students starting Monday, October 7, 2019 until the end of the CUPE full withdrawal of services. “

This includes all elementary, secondary, and adult and alternate education centres.

They say all families have been sent a notification alerting them to this potential closure if an agreement is not reached by the end of this weekend.

Parents are asked to not send their child to school and to make alternate child care arrangements for next week starting Monday.

If an agreement is reached, school communities are asked to monitor the TLDSB website and watch for notification of any changes to the situation prior to Monday morning.

“The decision to close schools to students was very carefully considered,” board chair Louise Clodd said in the release.

“CUPE staff in TLDSB do very important work in our schools, including support for students with special needs, safe arrival programs, water line flushing, cleaning, and maintenance of our buildings. We cannot operate our schools safely without them.

“We understand that this can be very frustrating for families and hope that a provincial agreement with CUPE will be reached very soon. Updates will be provided to you as more information becomes available.”

To find out the status of labour action in Trillium Lakelands District School Board, visit

TLDSB officials say watch over the weekend for a deal, in case support workers settle with the board and classes could resume as normal Oct. 7.