A labor union strike is halting the start of school in North Kingstown.
In an email blast from the school superintendent, Dr. Phil Auger notified parents early this morning that the union – which had hinted at a strike over contract negotiations – was in fact going on strike the first day of the 2012-13 academic year. The strike is also in protest of the school committee's decision to outsource the school district's custodial services.
The school department and the ESP union are still negotiating a contract, which has been ongoing for the past year and a half. Earlier this summer, . Twenty-six custodians were laid off by the decision – though according to . Auger says that the union wants the outsourcing decision reversed as part of its current negotiations. The union has also taken legal action against the school department in the matter.
All classes and before and after school programs are canceled for the day. Check back with North Kingstown Patch for more as this story develops.