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February 28, 2000, Prince George School support staff in Prince George, Mackenzie and McBride sent a strong message to employers by giving their bargaining committee an 82% mandate to strike should that action become necessary.

Marilyn Hannah, President of CUPE Local 3742, representing the close to 1200 full-time and part-time workers expressed pride in the confidence members have given their bargaining committee.

CUPE members in Prince George are frustrated by the boards inability to link job security with the quality of services that we deliver to students, parents, teachers.” said Hannah. “The board looks at a superficial bottom line in promoting the decentralisation of stores and other services. While CUPE even contests the reported savings on overall costs of supplies we also know that all the work that use to be done by a central department is now done by front-line workers in the school and those positions have not increased to deal with the additional workload. Who loses out are the students because we have less time to attend to their needs. Teaching assistants, custodians and others face the same pressures.” she said.

CUPE 3742 is a member of CUPEs K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee (SBC). Along with 47 other locals across the province, this local has been trying to resolve the major problems of job security, pay equity, benefits and pensionsissues which the local school boards will not deal with at the bargaining table.

“We want the BC Public School Employers Association and the government to come out and play a front and centre role in resolving these issues with CUPE and with our District 57 school board.” said Hannah.

Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative and bargaining co-ordinator for the SBC said, “Workers in Prince George have now expressed solidarity with other CUPE locals across the province in telling each level of employer that these issues must be resolved in order to restore peace to our K-12 school system in BC.”

Information:
Marilyn Hannah, President, CUPE 3742
(250) 563-9129 or
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative,
(604) 219-3703.

Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.bc.ca/sbc

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