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RENFREW, Ont. Renfrew County Catholic School Board custodial and maintenance employees voted 86 per cent in favour of a strike this weekend if their union, Local 1202 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is unable to reach a contract settlement with the Board.

Weve asked for a conciliation officer from the ministry of Labour to help us reach a contract in negotiations, said Local 1202 president Brenda MacMullin. But we want to make it clear our thirty-eight members are ready to take job action, up to and including a full strike, if conciliation talks fail to reach a fair settlement.

CUPE is disappointed with negotiations so far, with the Board seeking a move to monthly pay periods. Wages and layoff language are also important outstanding issues.

Most of our members already struggle from pay cheque to pay cheque, particularly part-timers who earn $15,000 a year moving to a monthly pay system would mean real hardship for many of us, said MacMullin.

Conciliation talks are tentatively scheduled for March 23rd. CUPE is urging parents to contact local school board trustees to demand a fair settlement to prevent a strike.

A strike is our last resort, but it may be necessary if the school board doesnt take a more positive approach in upcoming conciliation talks.


For further information, please contact:
Jim Squires, CUPE National Representative - 613-237-0115
Brenda MacMullin, CUPE 1202 President - 613-589-2925
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999