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TERRACE, BC - Bargainers for CUPE 2052 (Coast Mountain Schools) left the table this week with close to 60 pages of management proposals for concessions.

Among the most offensive of the employer proposals are those to:

  • eliminate the ability of members to move through the  workforce
  • erode sick time
  • create a seven day work week to eliminate overtime, which also eliminates time with families
  • take away rights of members facing layoffs
  • change 12 month positions to 11 months

CUPE’s bargaining committee came to the table seeking to address key issues for members and to find creative ways to move forward under a difficult mandate. The union is seeking safe, healthy and respectful workplaces; training and professional development; compassionate leave; fair workload; and benefits protection.

But in just two brief sessions, May 16 and 17, CUPE bargainers received an employer package that is a ‘blast from the past.’

The union expected a more respectful approach in this round of bargaining given new management personnel and positive improvements in the relationship with district administration in the past several months.

CUPE 2052 president Wilma Maier made it clear that going backwards – in terms of the working conditions for members or reverting to the toxic relationship that used to exist between thedistrict and the union – is not on the table.

Actions speak louder than words. While the district has been saying all the right things lately, this package exposes a wolf in sheep’s clothing with an approach that is bad for everyone and most of all for the quality of education,” says Maier.

The parties have no further bargaining dates scheduled.