Labour Negotiations

October 6, 2019

UPDATE: HCDSB Schools will be OPEN on Monday!

​We have just been notified that the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has reached a settlement agreement this weekend, and will therefore NOT be moving to a province-wide strike.

All HCDSB schools will be OPEN to students on Monday, October 7th and classes will resume as normal.

We know this period of uncertainty has created a great deal of stress for many of our students, families and staff. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout.

We look forward to welcoming all of our students and staff back to work tomorrow.

October 4, 2019

Important Update: If CUPE Strike Proceeds, All HCDSB Schools will be CLOSED to Students

In the event of a full withdrawal of services by CUPE, schools will be closed to students on Monday, October 7th, and for the duration of the strike.

We regret that this decision will pose some challenges for parents and guardians who may have to find childcare arrangements, however closing schools is the only way to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.

Our CUPE staff provide a number of essential services in our schools. Without their support, we cannot maintain a safe learning environment for our students.

If the CUPE strike proceeds and we have to close our schools to students, we will notify you in the following ways:

  • An email will be sent to all HCDSB parents
  • A notice will be posted on our HCDSB website –
  • A notice will be shared through Twitter @HCDSB

In Summary

If the CUPE strike proceeds,

  • All HCDSB schools will be CLOSED to students on Monday, October 7, 2019 and for the duration of the strike.
  • All Before & After School programs will be CANCELLED.
  • Childcare centres will remain OPEN as they run independently from our schools.
  • Community use of schools will be CANCELLED in all schools maintained by CUPE custodial staff​.
  • The Welcome Centre at 171 Speers Road in Oakville, will remain OPEN for families; however, any evening activities for newcomers in our schools will be CANCELLED.
  • All non-CUPE staff will continue to report to work in schools and our administrative offices.
  • Advanced polling stations will not be affected by this closure.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of job action. We are hopeful that a new provincial agreement will soon be reached with our CUPE education workers.


October 3, 2019

Important Information for Parents re: Potential CUPE Strike

Negotiations at the provincial level will continue this weekend, and we are hopeful that a central agreement will be reached.

That said, we need to be prepared for the potential of full withdrawal of services. In our school board, CUPE represents a number of our support staff​. If an agreement is not reached by end of day on Sunday, October 6th, and the strike proceeds, CUPE members will not report to work as of Monday. This would have a significant impact on our school communities and the safety of our students.

We will do our best to keep our schools op​en for student instruction, however the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority.

We would encourage parents and guardians to explore child care arrangements for next week, in case it becomes necessary to close our schools.

We are still gathering information and exploring all contingency plans. We will follow up with all parents and guardians tomorrow (Friday, October 4th) with a decision.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of job action.

October 2, 2019

Elementary School Cross Country POSTPONED

The 2019-2020 Elementary School Cross Country Meets, originally scheduled to take place October 8, 9, and 10, 2019 will now take place on April 21, 22, and 23, 2020.

This decision was made after careful consideration, and in the interest of ensuring we can provide supervision to allow for maximum participation of students with all abilities, in light of the current job action.

We know this will be disappointing for our students who have been preparing to participate over the past several weeks, however we look forward to hosting our 2019-2020 Elementary School Cross Country Meet in the Spring.

The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority, and we will continue to focus our efforts on creating and sustaining safe, inclusive school communities.

Thank you for your understanding.​

October 2, 2019

​CUPE Gives Notice of Move to Full Withdrawal of Services 

We were notified today that the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing education workers across the province, have given notice that they will be moving their job action to a full withdrawal of services effective Monday, October 7, 2019, if a provincial settlement is not reached by the end of day on October 6, 2019.

We are currently gathering information and planning for all contingencies. We will provide a further update to our community as soon as we have more information.


September 30, 2019

​Access to Our Schools During Work-to-Rule

Our Catholic elementary schools are kept locked at all times to ensure the safety of our students. Access into each of our elementary schools during the school day is requested through an intercom system (buzzer).  

We apologize for any delays parents and visitors may experience in accessing our schools during this work-to-rule. 

Parents and visitors are encouraged to call ahead before visiting the school during the school day. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of job action.  

September 25, 2019

CUPE Staff Will Begin Work-to-Rule on September 30, 2019

On September 25, 2019, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) issued notice that it will begin a province-wide work-to-rule campaign as of September 30, 2019. Work-to-rule is a form of job action that involves a partial withdrawal of services.

All schools will remain open and student instruction will continue in classrooms during this work-to-rule campaign.

CUPE represents a number of school and system support staff across HCDSB, including:

  • custodial staff
  • early childhood educators
  • educational assistants
  • English as a second language (ESL) instructors
  • information technology (IT) technicians
  • language instruction for newcomers to Canada (LINC) instructors
  • library technicians
  • school and board office secretaries and clerk
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General Information about Collective Bargaining, Agreements and Negotiations

Collective Agreement

A written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by an association/union. The agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment. It also contains the rights, privileges and duties of the employer, the association/union and the employees.

Collective Bargaining

A process in which an association/union and an employer negotiate a first collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement.

Two-Tiered Collective Bargaining Process

Publicly-funded education in Ontario uses a two-tiered collective bargaining process:


  1. ​Central Bargaining – deals with province-wide issues e.g. compensation, class sizes, etc.
  2. Local Bargaining – deals with issues specific to each school board e.g. management rights, contracting out, etc.


The central body of each union negotiates with the province and their local units then bargain with each individual school board. Different aspects of a collective agreement are negotiated at each level.

Letters to Parents and Guardian​s​:
​Update #1 - 
September 25, 2019
- Letter to Parents re. CUPE Work-to-Rule ​

Update #2 - 
October 2, 2019 - CUPE Gives Notice of Full Withdrawal of Services​

Update #3 - 
October 3, 2019 - Important Information for Parents Regarding Potential CUPE Strike​

Update #4 - 
October 4, 2019 - Potential CUPE Strike​

Update #5 - 
October 6, 2019 - CUPE Settlement Reached & All HCDSB Schools Are Open!​
Links to Resources for More Information:
As a Catholic school board, we value all of our staff as dedicated, caring professionals and we respect labour laws that affirm the legal rights of our unionized employee groups to engage in job actions. Student safety is paramount, and we will continue to do everything possible to serve the best interest of students and families during this period of job action.

We are committed to the success of the negotiation process, both at the provincial (central) and local levels. We know that all sides are working hard to reach agreements, and we are all focused on what is best for our students and families.

We will continue to update this page with timely and accurate information as it becomes available. Information will be shared through one or more of the following ways:
  • On this page of our Board’s website
  • Twitter @HCDSB
  • By email to all parents and guardians through the Parent Notification System​