March 8, 2000, Terrace Bargaining in School District 82 broke down yesterday when it became obvious that the Districts bargaining committee led by Director of Human Resources, Don MacPherson, were not interested in reaching any kind of understanding with their 400 school support staff. The local has decided to seek a strike mandate from its members located in Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton, Kitwanga and Stewart next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
MacPherson, a native of New Brunswick, is demanding major concessions from support staffconcessions that would wreck havoc on the morale of support staff and the services they provide.
Norry Kendall, President of CUPE local 2052 says, “We walked away from the table because this employer refuses to negotiate in the real world. The concessions being demanded by Don MacPherson and the bargaining committee would destroy seniority, remove our right to take vacations at other than designated times and remove protections that were guaranteed as a result of the district amalgamation process.”
“Amalgamation promises have not even been lived up to,” said Kendall, “and now the districts negotiators want to take the few protections some members received instead of extending the protections to everyone.”
CUPE Local 2052, like other locals that belong to the K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee had a series of major issues on the table including job security, pay equity, benefits and pensions, none of which the District is prepared to or has the authority to address, particularly if they have any financial implications.
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative said, “Its hard not to be extremely proud of these workers standing up against a mean spirited school administrator such as this. Hopefully this school district will open their eyes to the reality of fair working conditions and join other districts in seeking resolutions via discussions with government and CUPE.”
Norry Kendall, President CUPE Local 2052 Coast Mountain
Schools (250) 635-9363
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative
Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.bc.ca/sbc