Toronto – The following letter was sent to CUPE 4400 members on May 11, in response to misinformation contained in a TDSB memo sent to members on May 10, 2001:
Text of the letter:
“I am writing to you in response to the TDSB memo Details of Negotiated Settlement with the Toronto District School Board from Rod Thompson, that went out on Thursday, May 10, 2001.
Job cuts are not, and have never been, part of the CUPE 4400 settlement.
The Boards letter mixed the trustees unilateral decision to cut programs and services with the discussion of our settlement. They did this intentionally to mislead CUPE 4400 members and the public. To list cuts within a document called Details of Negotiated Settlement with the Toronto District School Board is a blatant fabrication. The Board showed during the strike that it was prepared to issue false and misleading statements in pursuit of its goals.
The recently announced job cuts have been met with a storm of protest from parents as well as CUPE4400 members. The TDSB administration is now trying to deflect criticism by placing the blame on CUPE 4400 members.
These cuts are ones that senior Board administration officials have been pushing for a long time. CUPE 4400 has been fighting these cuts.
Over the course of negotiations, CUPE 4400 members have become familiar with the campaign of misinformation waged by the Board. The TDSB has attempted to divide us. With this letter, the Toronto District School Board has sunk to a new low by trying to blame CUPE 4400 members for the cuts that have been imposed by the Harris government.
The TDSB is trying to turn parents and students against us with the completely false claim that these cuts are a result of the CUPE settlement.
CUPE 4400 calls on the Trustees to instruct their managers to cease and desist from these damaging tactics.
The strike showed that we have power it is not unlimited, but we are able to protect our interests and fight for quality public education in Toronto. Following the strike we had hoped that our struggle would be mainly with the provincial government and not with the TDSB. Unfortunately this is not the case. With these types of tactics, the Board is trying to demoralize us and undermine our collective strength. They will not succeed.
This was a long and difficult set of negotiations. We knew that our struggle would continue even after we achieved our settlement. We must not let Board propaganda diminish what we have achieved.
Yours in solidarity,
President, CUPE 4400
For further information, please contact:
Maggie Davidson, CUPE 4400