Brothers Paul Moist and Claude Généreux brought the support of 560,000 CUPE members across Canada to 2,100 striking school board workers at a “It’s about time” rally at the Durham District School Board on Tuesday, March 27.
“The school board needs to stop playing games and get back to the bargaining table to deal with the real issues in this strike – excessive workloads and not enough time for our members to do their work,” brother Moist told a crowd of CUPE members, supporters and media. “We’re behind you all the way, and management needs to know we won’t back down.”
CUPE 218 educational assistants, custodial and maintenance staff, clerical and technical staff walked of the job March 21 to win more time with students. The school board workers have been working without a contract for over a year, often working through breaks, staying late or taking work home – all without getting paid because their employer failed to provide adequate time to finish their work on behalf of students. “Instead of demanding adequate funding from the Ontario liberal government and dealing with a population boom in the Durham Region, this school board decided to pick a fight with our members,” said brother Généreux. “They picked the wrong fight.”
“It’s time for the board to show some respect and to respect the time our sisters and brothers put in on the job, day in and day out, to provide quality education to students and the community,” said Moist.