The Southeast Co-ed volleyball league has been forced to find alternate venues during the custodian strike in the Seine River School Division. 

“Seine River School Division has an incredible community use of schools policy, and we have been very, very fortunate to partner with them for a number of years on their gymnasium use,” says Jo-Anne Dalton, “which because of the strike now has been sort of revoked temporarily or as long as this lasts because their custodians, are the ones who open the doors and lock the doors for us after school hours.” 

The league has 16 teams and Dalton says they use four volleyball courts within the Seine River School Division. 

“It’s actually a huge hit now to our budget to try and rebook those schools elsewhere with much more pricing challenges in other divisions as well as other community groups that you know, just play rec adult. You know, getting the community out and active is so important. So, it has definitely been affecting a lot of people.” 

Dalton has been working with the schools to reschedule games for the volleyball teams. 

“I deal mostly with the individual schools themselves and the secretaries who have just been so gracious and kind. You know, they’re struggling with it as well. They've had to kind of communicate with all of the organizations who use their gymnasiums and their school rentals, and so they've been nothing but gracious and kind. I think we're all just hoping it gets resolved sooner than later.” 

The custodians in Seine River School Division went on strike on February 12th. 

Dalton notes the league is using school gyms in various divisions across the Southeast. 

Co-ed volleyball game.Southeast Co-ed volleyball league uses school gyms across the region. (Photo credit: Jo-Anne Dalton)

“The schools are great. I have good relationships with our DSFM division, with Red River Valley School Division, but the travel time for other divisions affects our players as well. Not everybody can travel 30 minutes to go to a different gym, and then the booking costs for all of those other divisions, they're all different from each other. And Hanover School division has a complicated booking process. They have so many schools in the region. And of course, every school gets priority with their own events. So, because it's basketball season right now, evenings are pretty booked up on the day that we normally play. So, we've had to book Fridays, we've had to book Mondays, we've had to inquire about weekend bookings, which really throws off everybody’s schedule.” 

During the strike, the school division has secured temporary workers to take on the custodial duties.

-With files from Dave Anthony