Toronto area boards set to re-open schools Tuesday as CUPE members return to work

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will be re-opening its schools on Tuesday after the union representing some 55,000 education workers announced their decision to end their walkout and return to work.

In an email to Global News on Monday, Ryan Bird, a spokesperson for the TDSB, confirmed that the board’s schools will be reopening to in-person student learning.

In a letter to families on Monday, the Toronto Catholic District School Board said it would be re-opening its schools to in-person learning on Tuesday as well.

Read more: CUPE members will return to school after Ford promises to rescind controversial strike legislation

The York Region District School Board said it too will re-open its schools to students and staff on Tuesday.

Similarly, the Durham Catholic District School board said its schools would be open to in-person learning on Tuesday as well.

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The Durham District School Board said its schools would also be open on Tuesday.

In a statement emailed to Global News on Monday, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) said its schools will be open to students for in-person learning beginning on Tuesday.

“PDSB respects the collective bargaining process and we are hopeful all parties will be able to reach a fair negotiated agreement soon,” the statement read.

School boards across Ontario were forced to close their schools after Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers, custodians and early childhood educators walked off the job on Friday.

CUPE members began a walkout on Friday, despite the Ford government banning them from doing so. The law, known as Bill 28, invoked the controversial notwithstanding clause and imposed a contract on the CUPE workers.

However, on Monday, Premier Doug Ford told reporters he would revoke the legislation, if workers ended their labour action and returned to school.

Shortly after, Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions announced at a separate press conference that CUPE members would be collapsing their protest sites as of Tuesday, after having received written confirmation from the Ontario government that it would revoke Bill 28.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government will revoke Bill 28 “in its entirety” at “the earliest opportunity.”

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Walton said the union is “waiting now” to get back to the bargaining table to work out a “fair deal” for CUPE members.

“We’re here waiting now, the time is ticking,” she said.

Read more: Labour board to rule on legality of Ontario education strike

Walton noted that the union is still in a legal strike position, adding that it would need to give five days’ notice if it intended to do so again.

However, Walton said the union is focused on securing a “fair deal” for its members.

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Walton said while the union does not direct school boards, she confirmed CUPE members would be “back at school” on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'Ontario Premier Ford willing to repeal education worker law if CUPE agrees to end walkout'

Ontario Premier Ford willing to repeal education worker law if CUPE agrees to end walkout

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