(St. Anthony) With school board workers in Cape Breton out on strike in one school board, and another soon to follow, CUPE school board workers here in Newfoundland and Labrador say its serving to highlight a major flaw in our provinces labour laws.
CUPE NL. President Wayne Lucas says, One of the major complaints Im hearing from school board workers across the island is that their current designation as an essential service is completely out of step with the rest of the country.
How can you say that teachers, principals and other groups of workers have an unfettered right to strike in this province, and tell custodians, school secretaries, and other school board workers that their right is severely restricted?
Says Lucas, The essential service designation in the school board sector was introduced by the previous government, but its so draconian that Danny Williams should do the right thing and get rid of it.
Lucas says, This is the only province that has put such severe and unwarranted restrictions on the rights of CUPE school board workers. By just looking to our island neighbours in Cape Breton, we can see 1,400 CUPE school board workers at the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board striking right now in a peaceful and orderly manner.
Four hundred more workers are set to join them on April 25 at the Strait Regional School Board and neither of these two groups face the kind of restrictions that school board workers in Newfoundland and Labrador now face. Its time the provincial government stopped forcing school board workers to be their own scabs, adds Lucas.
Lucas continues his province-wide tour with stops on the Northern Peninsula all this week.
Wayne Lucas, President, CUPE NL. - (709) 727-2509 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (o)