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Montra006c, Thursday, March 6, 2003 – School secretaries are preparing for battle. Some 50 FTQ union members representing the secretaries will meet in Montreal next Tuesday to draw up a series of pressure tactics to be implemented between now and the end of the school year.

The school secretaries’ workload has increased considerably over the past few years with decentralization of services to the schools. The problem goes back to 1998 when the Government of Qub0065c adopted a law to force several school boards to merge. New responsibilities assigned to the school secretaries were never recognized by the Government. And, today, several years later, the Conseil du trs006fr has still not announced the wage adjustments that should accompany the “added tasks”.

“The Minister of Education, Sylvain Simard, is going to have to get involved,” said Luc Chabot, coordinator of school support for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-FTQ). “It’s unacceptable that, on one hand, the Government should change job classifications to take the new situation for school secretaries into account - which is what it did last year - while, on the other hand, the Conseil du trs006fr will not release the funds owed to them.”

After the additional duties were recognized, school administrations often told the secretaries that it was only a question of time until their remuneration was adjusted. “Time has passed and nothing has been settled,” observed Luc Chabot, who added that “the climate is rapidly deteriorating as the days go by.” He pointed out that the problem affects all school secretaries in Qub0065c and added that “the FTQ considers this problem to be a real time bomb.”

CUPE has 15,000 members in the education sector in Qub0065c and represents school secretaries in nine school boards. As well as education, CUPE is active in 10 other sectors including health and social services, municipalities, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, hydroelectricity and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at site scfp.qc.ca