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February 21, Prince George - Bargaining has come to an impasse in Prince George schools as local employers are unwilling and unable to resolve serious issues that have significant impacts on the quality of services being delivered to students in School District 57, Prince George Schools.

In view of the bargaining impasse, CUPE Local 3742 will take strike votes in Prince George, Valemount, McBride, and Mackenzie on February 26 & 27, 2000.

“Job security, the way work load issues are not handled by the Board, the lack of a benefit package for many employees, the impossibility of members to take home a decent wage, are all serious areas of contention in this round of bargaining”, said Marilyn Hannah, President of CUPE Local 3742.

“The board’s attitude regarding the importance of infrastructure and support services continues to be evident at the bargaining table. In addition, it is clear to us that the board really does not even have the authority to resolve any key issues. That responsibility resides with the body this board assigned its bargaining authority to - the BC Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA). Since there was no more to be accomplished at the bargaining table, the bargaining committee has decided to seek a strike mandate from our members.”

Gary Johnson, CUPE’s co-ordinator of bargaining in the K-12 sector said, “District 57s schools is just one more of the 47 members of CUPE K-12 sectoral bargaining pushed to taking a strike vote because nothing more can be accomplished at the bargaining table with the employer. With every strike vote taken employer stakeholders must begin to see that there is a pattern of service reduction taking place throughout the province that can be resolved through co-operation and negotiation. But the political will must be there.”

Marilyn Hannah, President, CUPE Local 3742
(250) 563-9129
Gary Johnson, CUPE K-12 bargaining co-ordinator
(604) 219-3703

Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.ca