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May 15, 2000, Vancouver CUPE school support workers must have the right to ratify a new collective agreement or the crisis in BC schools will worsen, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill warned Monday.

ONeill was speaking as CUPEs K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee (SBC) submitted its proposals for settlement to Industrial Inquiry Commissioners (IIC) Irene Holden and Vince Ready, after a Vancouver rally which included statements of support from the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Teachers Federation, the BCGEU, the Hospital Employees Union and other unions.

CUPE school support workers are implementing an escalating program of action to achieve an agreement that meets their needs for employment security, a minimum four-hour shift, protection from contracting out and fair wages and benefits, ONeill said.

“Our locals are voting by wide margins to reject the April 1st report of the IIC and to reject Bill 7, the back-to-work legislation,” said ONeill. “The only way forward is for Victoria to ensure that this Industrial Inquiry process produces a tentative agreement our members can ratify. Otherwise, conflict in the education system will only be prolonged.”

Other actions at the local and provincial level are planned in the unions campaign including a rally outside the Provincial Council Meeting of the NDP in Kamloops on May 27th, where the council will be debating a resolution condemning the back-to-work legislation.

Louise Leclair, Communications Representative
(604) 291-1940 or (604) 454-4711

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

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