On Tuesday night (November 22nd), striking CUPE members and local parents went directly to the Turtle River School Division Trustees. They wanted some straight talk on what was going to happen next.
The parents of children in the division were registered to make a presentation and they questioned the trustees about the strike. They wanted to know what the trustees were going to do to get the support workers back to work.
CUPE 1897 president Diane Cabak went to the meeting along with CUPE Manitoba President Kevin Rebeck. Meanwhile members and parents held an information picket in front of the Division’s office.
Some of the questions they asked: “Why has CUPE been without a contract for a year? Why is the superintendent and our Trustees so against wage parity for their support staff? Would they not expect the same wage as their counterparts in other Divisions for doing the same job? How are you going to avoid this situation in the future?”
The trustees wouldn’t go into detail. They addressed some questions, but parents left with the main issue - how the strike was affecting their children - unresolved.
Spirits on the line however remain strong. Members of NGEU and parents joined the CUPE members. Music played, everyone sang and marched. The group is even more resolved now than at the start of the strike. “We will stay out until a fair deal can be reached,” one member said.
According to one parent, the kids miss the CUPE members, but they continue to learn a valuable lesson from our members, on how leaders must stand up for what’s right and fair.