GSN Statement


Posted on behalf of OSBCU President, Laura Walton

Despite an increase in per-pupil funding in the GSN, the government is once again trying to sell “status quo” as more.
A 3 percent increase to the 2020-2021 GSN will pay for increasing enrolment, the cost of the government’s labour settlements (including changes to class sizes), and inflation – additional costs that the government either already agreed to or must pay anyway.
Some funding is counted as new, even though it isn’t; for example, the “new” Support for Students Fund includes money that CUPE negotiated last October.
But most importantly, school boards will still be left to figure out how to find the money for the additional measures they will have to take to ensure there won’t be an outbreaks of COVID-19 in our schools.
There is still not enough in the 2020-2021 GSN to do everything that’s needed to keep students and staff safe and healthy in post-pandemic schools.

Guidelines for Unit A, B & D


The following is a guideline if you asked to go into the school

Unit A Custodians
You may be asked to supply bags to teachers for packing up student belongings
You may be asked to clean/sanitize and clean all touch points
You may help with lifting heavy bags
You may assist with organizing and curb-side pick up
When packages arrive, you may deliver them to the office and let admin know it is there

Unit B Elementary Office and Clerical
Admin must be in the building when you are

It must be meaningful work that you cannot do from home
You may be asked to received goods but do not sit at school waiting for deliveries
You may be asked to print labels for teachers to put on students bags
You may be asked to assist in sorting bags by family once the teacher sorts them alphabetically

You may be asked to assist with curb-side pick up

You may be asked to do bank deposit, however if you do not have proper PPE you
cannot be forced to go to the bank

Unit B – Secondary School Office and Clerical
Admin must be in the building when you are
It must be meaningful work that you cannot do from home
You may be asked to received goods but do not sit at school waiting for deliveries
You may be asked to do bank deposit, however if you do not have proper PPE you cannot be forced to go to the bank
A plan for students to empty their lockers will need to be worked out with admin

Unit D ECE
Admin must be in the building when you are
You may work with your teaching partner to pack your students belongings
You will continue to teach from home on all other days
If asked to assist with curb-side pick up please explain to your admin how it will impact your students learning which is the same way it would if the teacher was assisting

All Staff

There should not be any hand to hand passing of objects
When doing curb-side pick up it is best to put items in the trunk of vehicle
If parents feel something is missing they are to take what is given to them and contact the admin with a list of missing items
If you are in Unit B or D and fail the assessment, please discuss with admin how duties at school can be done and what work you are doing at home.  Under most situations you do not need to enter anything in TVARRIS. Please let us know if an admin wants you to put illness in TVARRIS.
If teachers don’t go in to pack students belongings, we advise that you do not do this task
All members are reminded to social distance and stay safe. If at anytime you do not feel safe talk to your admin/supervisor, if they haven’t fixed it please reach out to us
If at anytime you are unsure of a task assigned , please check with your supervisor to clarify the expectation, if still unsure please contact us.
Victoria Toulouse
Joanne Dowswell

May General Membership Meeting – CANCELLED


The General Membership Meeting scheduled for Saturday May 23, 2020 will be CANCELLED. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 13, 2020 beginning at 9:30 am.
As a reminder: Please be aware the CUPE 4222 Office remains CLOSED. Executive members can be reached via cell phone and email. All contact information can be found at under the “Contact Us” tab. Telephone messages and emails will be answered remotely. If you have Unit specific questions please contact your Unit Vice President for clarification.

Redeployment Question and Answer Sheet


As COVID-19 continues to impact all Ontarians, Ontario’s education system has maintained its focus on supporting student learning, thanks to your support. I want to thank you for your hard work, perseverance and patience during this time.
The school board sector is fortunate in that we have suffered few layoffs and that we continue to be paid, even though many of us are not performing our regular duties.
However, there are other workplaces in our communities that are facing critical staffing shortages. I know that there are many education sector employees who want to help while school are closed for learning.
The Ministry of Education also recognizes that we are “under-utilized” (its term) and has worked with education unions, including CUPE, to develop a framework that would allow education workers to help address staffing shortages in other sectors.
The terms of this framework have now been agreed and CUPE education workers will soon have the opportunity to volunteer through an online provincial portal. They will be matched with local employers that need their services for non-clinical roles.
Matching will be based on members’ skills/abilities, geographic location and availability. Employers in need could include hospitals, long-term care homes, retirements homes, group homes, youth shelters and other residential congregate care settings. (NB: Employees who are required to support Continuity of Learning in the education sector are not eligible for temporary redeployments.)
However, redeployment should only take place when CUPE 4222 has a signed a redeployment agreement, so before applying through the portal, please check that the local has completed an agreement that will protect you and your rights during redeployment.
Redeployed education workers will remain employees of the Thames Valley District School Board and will continue to be covered by the terms of our CUPE collective agreement.
Whether to volunteer, to be redeployed or not, is a highly personal decision. Training and safety equipment will be provided to help ensure everyone’s safety, but there is always a degree of risk. There will be no reprisals for members who don’t volunteer to be redeployed, and the redeployment can be ended at anytime.
CLICK HERE for a helpful Redeployment Question and Answer sheet for members considering this.

OSBCU – Press Release


Paying it forward: CUPE education workers step up to
support public and colleagues hard hit by COVID-19

Education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario are gearing up to help friends and neighbours whose lives and workplaces have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CUPE school board leaders have strongly endorsed the provincial government’s “community involvement” initiative, which was announced this morning (Saturday). It paves the way for the union’s education workers to assist in long-term care homes, group homes, and other congregate care settings.
“CUPE education workers have a strong sense of community and they know there’s a critical need for staffing in health, long-term care and social services. Many of us have been looking for ways to lend our support and so we’re pleased to endorse this voluntary plan,” said Laura Walton, President of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU).
She pointed out that a CUPE school board local in Kenora was already working to redeploy their custodians to help with cleaning needs in area hospitals.
Very few education workers have been laid off during Ontario’s school closures and many – including custodians, early childhood educators, and education assistants – are still on the job, maintaining schools and supporting students who are learning at home.
Walton confirmed this leaves “many CUPE members available and eager to support vulnerable residents and exhausted colleagues.” Among those coming forward for secondment to other sectors are custodians, youth workers, psychologists, maintenance staff, education assistants, social workers, paraprofessionals, special-needs teachers and food service workers.
But even as CUPE education workers roll up their sleeves to volunteer for redeployment, they are mindful that their colleagues in other sectors have either suffered mass layoffs or are exhausted or ill – all while working under orders issued under the government’s emergency powers.
“As public sector workers, we’ve called for all redeployments to be voluntary and for all laid-off workers to be re-hired,” said Walton. “But most of all, we recognize the harsh reality that the pandemic has revealed about the state of public services in the province, and what it means for workers and people who are vulnerable.”
COVID-19 has only amplified what CUPE public sector workers have been saying for years: provincial underfunding and understaffing have left Ontario’s public services diminished, dangerously overstretched and without the resilience needed to weather a pandemic.

“This virus has shown every Ontarian the catastrophic effects of starving our vital services of money and resources. The people who rely on those services deserve better and the people who deliver them do, too,” concluded Walton.


School year updates (provided by OSBCU)


Please see the memo below provided by OSBCU regarding school year updates.
Memorandum to:
Chairs of District School Boards
Directors of Education
School Authorities
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education
Nancy Naylor, Deputy Minister
Thank you for your commitment to ensuring that, even in these unprecedented circumstances, Ontario’s education system is maintaining its focus on supporting student learning.
We are writing to advise that Minister Lecce has signed an order extending school closures to at least May 31, 2020. School employees will have access to schools as of May 29, 2020.
The closure may be extended further if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families, and staff, based on the advice of public health experts and the province’s COVID-19 Command Table.
In protecting the emotional and mental health of students, boards must ensure that mental health workers and professional staff are available to engage with students immediately, as needed, in a secure and safe conversation.
During this period, we encourage students and parents to continue to access learning resources and tools through Learn at Home/Apprendre à la maison. These portals are continuously being updated to provide additional materials and content.
The previously-directed hours of work per student, per week, and the suggested areas of curriculum focus that were set out in the March 31, 2020 provincial guidance document continue to apply:
Grade Range
K-Grade 3
  • Five hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math
Grades 4-6
  • Five hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math + science and social studies
Grades 7-8
  • 10 hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Core math, literacy, science and social studies
Grades 9-12
  • Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students
  • Focus: Achieving credits/completion/graduation
In the coming weeks, we look forward to working together to delivering a robust summer learning program that will reach as many students as possible, with a focus on credit delivery, credit recovery and gap-closing programs and supports for vulnerable students.
We want to take this opportunity to recognize the commitment to students demonstrated by educators and support staff across the province. Circumstances have required all of us to change how we do our work. We are encouraged that educators and staff are engaging in voluntary professional development opportunities, building skills and sharing best practices for supporting continued learning in a remote environment. For example, over 14,000 educators so far have participated in the ministry’s webinars on using Brightspace, the province’s Virtual Learning Environment and teaching in a remote environment, and many more have engaged in board-delivered professional development. We encourage educators to continue developing their skills and competencies in this area. The ministry will continue to offer resources and supports.
In order to maximize instructional time for students during this unprecedented time, Minister Lecce has directed that all remaining professional activity days and examination days for the 2019-2020 school year are to be used for instruction.  Amendments have been made to RRO 1990, Regulation 304 (School Year Calendar, Professional Activity Days) under the Education Act.
Although professional activity days are formally cancelled for the remainder of the school year, we encourage school boards to work with teachers and educational assistants to ensure time is available for report cards in June. In particular, the time necessary to complete report cards is recognized as a priority for students and parents.
We would also like to confirm that, as we continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year, school year calendar submissions are not being considered for approval at this time. As such, boards will not be required to submit a 2020-2021 school year calendar and professional activity day descriptions by the May 1, 2020 deadline. The ministry will provide additional direction regarding new deadlines once decisions on the 2020-2021 school year have been made. We recognize the significant effort that goes in to preparing, adopting and submitting your school year calendars and professional activity day descriptions and thank you for your efforts as we work together to help Ontario students continue their learning.
Thank you once again for your efforts, and for those of your board staff and educators.
original signed by                               
Stephen Lecce                                            Nancy Naylor
Minister of Education                                  Deputy Minister
c:         President, Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’ontario (ACÉPO)
Executive Director, Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’ontario (ACÉPO)
President, Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC)
Executive Director, Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC)
President, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA)
Executive Director, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA)
President, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA)
Executive Director, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA)
Executive Director, Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE)
President, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
President, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)
General Secretary, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)
President, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
General Secretary, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
General Secretary, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
Chair, Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW)
Chair, Education Workers’ Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)
President of OSBCU, Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario (CUPE-ON)
Co-ordinator, Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario (CUPE-ON)

Right to Refuse work & process


Please review the attachments below regarding the procedures on the right to refuse work where health and safety is in danger as provided by CUPE National.
CLICK HERE for information regarding COVID-19 and the right to refuse unsafe work
CLICK HERE to view the work refusal process