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Labour board says Wadena School Division bargained in bad faith

Dec 19, 2003 12:00 AM
Wadena strikers: all we want for Christmas is a fair contract Strikers to be compensated for damages

Regina: The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board has ordered the Wadena School Division to return to the bargaining table by December 22, cease and desist from committing further violations of the Trade Union Act, and develop a plan to compensate its striking school support workers for lost wages.

In its sweeping decision released today, the labour board ruled the Wadena School Division has continued to violate the Trade Union Act by failing to bargain in good faith. It has ordered the school division to resume contract negotiations with CUPE by Monday “and continue to meet on Tuesday and thereafter as may be necessary . . .to reach a collective agreement.”

CUPE school support workers are “extremely pleased” with the board’s decision. “All we want for Christmas is a fair settlement,” says CUPE 3078 President Donna Zarowny. “Now, after 128 days on the picket line, it looks like we might achieve one.”

The labour board also ordered the school division to remove its demands that the union accept the dismissal of seven CUPE teacher associates in Quill Lake and give up its constitutional right to deal with the strikebreakers, as conditions for a settlement. The labour board ruled the employer’s conditions were illegal.

The labour board also ruled that since the employer was guilty of bargaining in bad faith, it must develop a plan to compensate the striking school workers for lost wages during the three-month period it was refusing to bargain.

The school division has 30 days to submit the plan.

Today’s ruling marks the second time in the last three months that the Wadena School Division has been found guilty of bargaining in bad faith.

Contract negotiations between the school division and CUPE are expected to commence Monday in Regina.

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For more information, contact:

CUPE 3078 Donna Zarowny at 338-2091

or CUPE 3078 Vice-President Sheila Bindig at 338-3907.