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Essential services legislation has the potential to put children at risk, according to CUPE BC, the union representing non-teaching support staff in schools throughout BC.

CUPE BC President Barry ONeill says that while he hasnt seen the legislation yet and like everyone else can only speculate on its contents, it will certainly have an impact on the workers in schools who work with children with disabilities, who supervise children at lunch hours, who keep schools clean and who keep records and run the offices.

The Liberal government is poised to rush through another piece of legislation that may have a wide-reaching impact on children and school workers without thinking it through, said ONeill. They havent consulted us at all about this legislation and how it would work.

CUPE workers in schools are trained to keep children safe and have negotiated levels of service that make sure this is possible. What will essential services legislation mean to the levels of service and protection for kids? These are important questions that we are looking for answers to.

CUPE BC wants the Liberal government to consult with them about legislation affecting their work places but has been disappointed before.

First we had legislation without consultation that could put parents in the position of doing jobs that trained, professional and screened CUPE workers should be doing, then we had a repeal of pay equity legislation, said ONeill.

We know essential services is next but only because we read it in the papers. The Liberals havent asked us what the consequences of the legislation might be for kids even though we are the ones who know how things work in the real world.

CUPE BC President Barry ONeill will be available to comment on the legislation when it is tabled.

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For more information:
Marie Della Mattia 604-291-1940 or cell 604-839-1774