LONDON, Ont. - Thames Valley District School Board Trustees must show leadership and find ways to resolve a strike by education and instructional assistants, and stop hiring replacement workers, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). More than 1,000 school board workers went on strike on May 11th to fight for more time to do their work.
“Trustees must intervene on behalf of students and resolve this strike,” said Helena McConkey, spokesperson for CUPE 4222, Unit C. “They’ve been elected by residents to represent and defend the needs of this community - our students need more than six hours a day from their EAs and IAs. Hiring unqualified scabs to care for students while our members are fighting to improve the situation will only prolong this labour dispute.” The board has indicated it is willing to pay for personal support workers to care for students during the strike.
“We asked to make a presentation to the board and trustees about this issue at their last meeting, just prior to our strike deadline, but they refused to hear from us,” said Jennifer Kaufmann, CUPE national representative. “It’s time for trustees to face the problems their downloading has caused, and lobby the provincial government and demand more funds to end this strike.”
EAs and IAs are often forced to work late without pay, because the school board has assigned them extra duties without increasing work time. “The board should stop fighting frontline workers and work with us to address this issue.”
For further information, please contact:
Helena McConkey, Spokesperson, CUPE 4222 Unit C: 519-318-9754 cell
Jennifer Kaufmann, CUPE National Representative: 519-433-1753; 519-852-2803 cell
James Chai, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999