Local 4186 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union that represents more than 700 support workers including custodial staff at the Catholic board, learned late Friday that board staff will be recommending that the contracts totalling more than $1 million, be awarded to three companies. The notification came just one day after more than 150 people attended a rally in support of CUPE Local 4186 and against the contracting out.
Board trustees will be voting on the issue at today’s (Monday, April 26) meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Monsignor Feeney Centre for Catholic Education, 165 Elmwood Avenue East.
The London Catholic school board is contracting workers to clean some schools for $8.50 an hour – with no benefits and no pension. But contracting out services to low-waged labour does not reflect the Church teachings on the value of work and the right to a fair and just wage. The London Catholic board is one of only a few school boards province-wide that contract out custodial jobs.
“We believe that, given the opportunity to reconsider this contracting out – a practice that does not follow Church teachings – the majority of Trustees will live their faith and bring the work back in-house. Trustees have a responsibility to uphold the position of the Church and they should lead by example,” says Rosemary Van Niekerk, the president of CUPE Local 4186.
CUPE Local 4186 has sent a letter to the chair of the board asking that the decision on contracting out be deferred until after May 10, when Father Frank O’Connor will make a deputation to the Trustees urging them to stop contracting out custodial jobs. Father O’Connor is among the many in the London community who are speaking out publicly against the contracting out. Others asking the board to stop the contracting out practice include, the London District Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) and the London District Labour Council.
For more information, please contact:
Rosemary Van Niekerk
CUPE local 4186 president