(Oshawa) The provincial Ministry of Labour has issued a “no-board” report in the negotiations between the Durham District School Board and 1700 workers represented by CUPE Local 218, triggering a strike/lockout deadline of May 8th at 12:01 a.m.
CUPE Local 218 represents custodial and maintenance workers, clerical, office and technical workers, and educational assistants.
“This local has not been on strike with the Durham District School Board since 1982,” says Don Bryans, president of Local 218, “and we are hoping to avoid a labour disruption here. But parents and teachers should know that there is a possible strike on the horizon, given how far apart we remain on the major issues in negotiations.”
Main outstanding issues include wages, benefits, and workload. “Our workload issues are serious,” says Bryans. “This board is trying to squeeze more and more out of its workers opening new schools without increasing staffing levels or even maintaining the existing ones. It not only poses problems for our members, it also jeopardizes the cleanliness and safety of kids in the Durham public system.”
Members of CUPE Local 218 have given their bargaining team a strong strike mandate of 93%.
“We are going to need to see some real movement from the board if we are to avoid disruption to the end of the school year,” says CUPE National Representative Betty Sommers. “We are trying to schedule further talks, and we want to do everything possible during those dates to achieve a fair contract. The question is, does the school board?”
For more information:
Don Bryans, president, CUPE Local 218,
(905) 431-5811 (cell)
Betty Sommers, CUPE National Representative,
(905) 439-7044 (cell)
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
(416) 292-3999, or (416) 738-4329 (cell)