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Toronto–Frustrated at the negotiating table dealing with school boards that have been neutered by provincial government policies and an inadequate funding formula, CUPE Local 4400 is one of the CUPE education sector locals throughout the province now taking job action, said Sid Ryan, the Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

He cautions that by August 2001, 25 more CUPE education sector locals representing thousands of educational support workers will be heading to the bargaining table, and unless there is adequate funding to school boards for the wages and benefits of support workers in the budget allocation for the next school year, there will be a rapid succession of labour disputes.

Currently, in the Premiers own backyard, the ill-thought out funding formula is coming home to roost. There are 14,000 children out of school in Mike Harris own riding, victims of his governments education funding formula, and unless there is a wage increase for the 13,000 members of CUPE local 4400 there will be tens of thousands of students hurt, once again, by this governments policies, added Ryan.

Ryan will join members of CUPE local 4400 and their supporters at a Rally today, March 28th, outside the Toronto District School Board Trustees meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the TDSB Administration Centre, 155 College Street, Toronto.

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For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774