CUPE 5252 members who are education support workers in Prairie Valley School Division in Saskatchewan, are speaking out for equality and fairness through video. Wages paid to CUPE education support workers are significantly lower than the wages Prairie Valley School Division pays to non-unionized education support workers.
“We have been trying to address this disparity issue for years now,” says Laurel Rugland, CUPE 5252 president. “Members love their jobs and the children they work with, but they want to be valued and treated fairly.”
Members are using video to tell the school division and the public how they feel personally about being treated unfairly. The first video features Desi Harcourt, a library assistant who works at the Kennedy Langbank School and Kipling School.
CUPE 5252 will be releasing the videos each weekday over the next two weeks. Watch the videos on YouTube.
Members want parity with other non-union workers in the Division who are paid more for doing exactly the same job. For example, a social worker with ten years on the job earns $33.13 an hour while their counterpart makes $41.68, a difference of over 25 per cent.
They want their employer, Prairie Valley School Division, to pay them what others doing the same work in the school division earn – “equal pay for equal work is only fair.”
CUPE 5252 members are bus drivers, caretakers, educational assistants, community school educational assistants, family liaison workers, nutritional assistants, library assistants, central library technicians, administrative assistants, social workers and community school coordinators.
They care for and ensure safety for children in the communities of Fort Qu’Appelle, Indian Head, Qu’Appelle, Kelliher, Lipton, McLean, Southey, Odessa, Francis, Cupar, Lemberg, Balcarres, Grenfell, Montmartre, Neudorf, Sedley, Vibank, Wolseley, Broadview, Kennedy/Langbank, Kipling, Whitewood and Milestone.