The Gleaner

NFSB closing schools to students Thursday

In response to strike action confirmed by education professionals, all elementary and secondary schools in the New Frontiers School Board will be closed to students for the entire day this Thursday. At vocational centres, classes will resume in the afternoon following the noon strike deadline.  Evening classes will run as usual.

As part of an ongoing pressure campaign protesting stalled negotiations with the provincial government, around 10,000 members of the Féderation des professionnelles de l’éducation (FPPE) will walk off the job Thursday from 12:01 a.m. to noon.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NFSB had yet to be informed by the president of the union of the exact locations at which members were planning to picket. “We also know that our other unionized employees will not cross picket lines, which could lead to children arriving at school with no staff to take care of them,” says NFSB Director General Rob Buttars.

“An unfortunate but necessary decision had to be made to suspend classes for students on Thursday,” Buttars confirms.

The option to pivot to online learning for the day was not possible as this strategy, which was used by the NFSB at the secondary level during the April 14 teacher strike, is currently being challenged by teacher unions before the Quebec Labour Tribunal. “We hope to get the legal ruling in the next few days,” notes Buttars.

A full day of strike action planned by the white-collar support staff union will potentially impact the NFSB on May 11. The board has not received information regarding picket lines and has not made concrete plans at this time. School principals will communicate with families once all decisions have been made. (SR)

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