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Police urge parents of absent kids to call schools so officers aren't tied up
Published Friday, October 4, 2019 7:03PM EDT Last Updated Monday, October 7, 2019 1:02PM EDT
A strike that would have closed hundreds of schools across Ontario was averted just hours before a midnight deadline on Sunday as the province reached a tentative deal with the union representing thousands of education workers.
On Monday morning, York Regional Police says that in anticipation of some schools across the region closing, many parents made arrangements to keep their children home.
However, police say those parents should notify their school of a child's absence. They say they have received several calls from schools reporting missing children.
Multiple school boards informed parents late last week that they would close their doors if a deal wasn't reached, advising parents to make other arrangements for this morning.
The 55,000 education workers represented by CUPE vary from board to board and may include custodians, early childhood educators, educational assistants, and clerical staff. At least two dozen school boards notified parents on Friday they couldn't safely operate without those workers.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the deal has a lot of parents breathing a sigh of relief.
Trudeau has spent a lot of time during his re-election campaign slamming Ontario Premier Doug Ford, including saying last week that as a parent, he wished Ford would focus more on his kids' education.
At a meeting with teachers this morning ahead of tonight's English-language debate, Trudeau criticized Ford's changes to education, which include increasing class sizes.
The province still has to get deals with several major education unions, including elementary and high school teachers.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he hopes those talks can happen without seeing parents experience the same angst as they did over the weekend.