As the days get shorter, and schedules get busier, I want to take a minute to recognize a situation that may be a source of stress for many staff and families – the ongoing provincial negotiations with CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
CUPE represents a large number of our education workers in KPR schools, including custodians, maintenance workers, clerical staff, educational workers, early childhood educators, and professional staff. CUPE staff in our schools are vital to students’ success, their safety and the effective functioning and operation of our schools and buildings each day.
Please review the important information below in the news section, about the possibility of a full withdrawal of service, as early as late next week, if notice is received from CUPE.
We recognize the valuable role of CUPE staff in supporting students, staff and schools. We continue to follow the provincial negotiations closely and, like you, remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon that will avert disruption to our students and families.
As we move into November, KPR schools will once again recognize and celebrate November as Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month. As part of our ongoing commitment to championing Indigenous education, achievement and awareness, November was chosen because it includes several important dates, such as Treaties Recognition Week (Nov. 6-12), Rock Your Mocs Week (Nov. 14-20), Inuit Day (Nov. 7), Indigenous Veterans’ Day (Nov. 8), and Louis Riel Day (Nov. 16). While there is a dedicated focus during the month of November, this important learning takes place throughout the entire year for both students and staff.
The Passport to Reconciliation program supports this important work and encourages staff and students to engage in learning focused on Indigenous knowledge, culture, perspective and history. The learning focus for the month of November is Treaties. Schools and classes will learn directly from authentic Indigenous voices, Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. All year long, the @KPRIndigenous account on Twitter shares valuable resources and reflections that can help us all to think deeply about reconciliation.
For more information about these and other significant days coming up, please visit KPR’s online Events Calendar.
Director of Education
CUPE Labour Negotiations Update
As you may know, CUPE will be in a legal strike position on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Strike actions can include a partial or full withdrawal of service. We are, of course, very concerned about this possibility and know that our staff and families share that concern.
To assist staff and families in their planning, we are sharing today that IF a provincial agreement is not reached next week, and IF there is a full withdrawal of service by CUPE employees, our schools would be CLOSED to students.
We appreciate that the potential of closing our schools is difficult news, and not a decision we make lightly, but the reality is that without CUPE education workers on-site, we could not ensure safe conditions for all our students. This course of action is based on the following considerations:
- supervision of students;
- medical support and care for all students;
- safe operation of water and sanitation systems, including required water flushing;
- conditions of school buildings and classrooms, and
- overall safety and security.
School boards must be given five days’ notice of any possible strike action. If we receive notice from CUPE about pending strike action in the coming days, we will share further information at that time.
2022 Parent Conference
KPR’s Parent Involvement Committee would like to thank all those who attended and contributed to this year’s Parent Conference – Building Skills and Resilience in a Supportive Environment of Risk-Taking. If you missed it, Dr. Colin King’s keynote address, the panel discussion and resources for families, are now available on our website.
With financial support from the federal and provincial governments for COVID-related safety improvements, all classrooms in KPR are serviced by either a stand-alone HEPA unit or a mechanical HVAC system. We continue to make ventilation improvements, including replacing older HVAC systems, and upgrades to the HVAC systems in 40 portables.
KPR’s Ministry Ventilation Report has a complete list of approved projects funded by federal and provincial grants.