A small group of staff members at a high school in Mississauga briefly refused to work on the first day of school Tuesday, saying they were initially provided masks that did not meet Health Canada standards.
Laurie Moynagh, math department head at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, told CTV News Toronto that some staff were given a brand of masks for the first day of school that she said "do not meet standards set out by Health Canada."
After refusing work, she said they were given another type of mask that does comply with Health Canada standards and then returned to the school.
"Our principal was able to get them from another school," she said. "We have enough masks for today; we're not sure about the rest of the week."
Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board spokesperson Bruce Campbell said the board circulated paperwork to the union and other staff indicating that the brand of masks first issued to the teachers did comply with Health Canada rules.
"We have the proper paper work certifying they are medical grade and have conveyed this to the union," he said. "In the meantime we are following proper protocol with regard to work refusals and our Health and Safety and Employee Relations departments are providing direct support to the staff at (St. Joan of Arc)."
Moynagh said they are still uncertain about their mask supply.
"We're going to take it day by day, but today we are in a safe position to go back in and do our jobs and prepare for students coming later in the week."
Federal and provincial governments provided school boards with at least $90 million total this year to purchase personal protective equipment for in-school staff, along with separate funds to provide gloves and masks to bus drivers.