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Update Oct. 31st, 2022

CUPE! (You are not CUPE)

I wanted to provide a bit of an update regarding the labour negotiations for CUPE. First and foremost you are not a CUPE member. While CUPE does represent 55,000 education workers across Ontario, they do not represent you! You are part of OSSTF and will not be going on strike on November 4th. OSSTF continues to bargain with the Government at the negotiating table.

In the UGDSB, CUPE represents custodial and maintenance staff and ESL Instructors in our Adult ESL Continuing Education program. Yesterday CUPE issued their 5 days notice of a full withdrawal of services beginning November 4th. At this time UGDSB has not given any indication that schools will be closed or direction on online learning. It is important to understand that not all worksites employ CUPE custodial staff. Many schools use private contractors.

As more information becomes available you will receive more information from me and UGDSB.


It seems like every year we start over with this discussion. Educational Assistants are not responsible for all the toileting needs/accidents in a school. They can be assigned these responsibilities for Spec Ed students only by the Principal/Vice Principal and should be part of the student's plan. Some Kindies may be identified as days/weeks go by but these are not one-off situations. Please let me know if EAs are being misused this way at your school. EAs are spread thin enough!!

Students who have accidents and are not identified by Spec Ed (Neuro Typical) should be coached from the door by any adult (could be the ECE or teacher) in the building and if they can not get themself sorted, P/VP can choose to assist or a call to a caregiver should be made. Please remember we are all responsible for the dignity of all children. **Do not go into bathrooms with students who are not identified as needing this support.

Internal Responsibility System (IRS)

What does the IRS mean and why is it important?

The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is a fundamental part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Every person including both worker and management, has a critical role to play in ensuring workplace safety.

Workers have the legal obligation to report all safety hazards to their supervisor or employer. Supervisors have the legal obligation to ensure all hazards are adequately managed. Employers must inform workers of potential workplace hazards and provide clear policies and procedures to address these issues. If the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is followed, it provides a solid foundation for a safe and healthy workplace.

What if a member has a health and safety concern at their workplace?

Step 1: It is the worker’s responsibility to identify, notify and document the concern with the principal. This can be done in person or by email. The email version confirms that the issue was recognized and documented. This step must be taken before there is union involvement. The union can advise on an issue but the worker must first discuss the issue with the principal.

Step 2: If the issue is not resolved or followed up in a reasonable time frame then, the union is able to provide support and guidance, as appropriate.


Health and Safety Concerns?

Contact: Julie Wagner

Health and Safety Officer


Upper Grand Employee Assistance Program

If you are finding yourself or a family member or a colleague needing additional support or resources please refer to the board's employee and family assistance program. This service is free and confidential. The board is not given the names of members who are using the service. This resource may be of help to members who need it.

Access the Upper Grand District School Board’s Employee & Family Assistance Program 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app 1-800-387-4765 |

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