Eastern Ontario school board Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO) is still the only school board in Ontario without a local collective agreement with its education workers, but now its refusal to reach a deal at the bargaining table has taken its employees – members of CUPE 4155 – to the brink of a strike.

After two years in negotiations with the board, CUPE 4155 has given the required five days’ notice of a strike, which is scheduled to take place beginning Tuesday, February 7.

In compliance with the 2014 provincial Act governing collective bargaining for school boards, the members of CUPE 4155 are in a legal strike position after having given five days’ notice of jobs action.

CUPE 4155 represents supervisors, school administrators, clerks, maintenance workers, library technicians and IT technicians at the CSDCEO.

“We have been extremely patient with our employer, so that we could avoid just such a labour dispute,” said Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE 4155.

“But after 12 bargaining dates and the impasse we reached yesterday in negotiations – even working with conciliators – we realized that, unfortunately, the time had come to take job action, up and including a full strike.”

CUPE 4155 will hold a membership meeting on Saturday, February 4, to discuss the job action.