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(Sydney) School board workers at the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board (CBVRSB) have sent a strong message to their employer and to the Hamm government: fix the wage parity issue or face labour unrest in the sector.

The members of CUPE Local 5050 have voted 92% in favour of strike action, to back their unions contract demands. The union took the vote after CBVRSB rejected the unions provincial bargaining package.

CUPE School Board Co-ordinator Kathy Macleod says, This is the first in a series of strike votes which will be taking place across the province. We are putting the provincial government on notice that school board workers in Nova Scotia are no longer willing to accept dramatically different wages for doing the same jobs.

CUPE members have told us that wage parity and equal benefit plans are strike issues in this round of bargaining, says Macleod.

Cape Breton Victoria School Board, meanwhile, has tabled several major concessions in its bargaining, including:

  • removing cafeteria workers from the contract
  • no guaranteed days for bus drivers, teacher aids, secretaries or caretakers
  • removing seven secretaries from the bargaining unit completely

Local 5050 represents 1,400 workers in 44 job classifications with the CBVRSB, ranging from school secretaries, teacher aids, lunch supervisors, bus drivers, mechanics, caretakers, cafeteria workers and more.

For information:
Kathy MacLeod, CUPE National Rep. - (902) 539-4933 (o) - (902) 578-3304 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (o)