School board support staff voice concerns about restructuring of the Nova Scotia education systemConciliation efforts have failed say representatives of CUPE, which represents education support staff at the Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education.

On Thursday, September 13, CUPE 3890 asked the conciliation officer to file their report. Once the report is filed, a two-week countdown will be triggered to the date that the union will be in a legal strike position.

Negotiations began March 2, 2018 and moved into conciliation on May 22, 2018. This has been a difficult round of bargaining, as both parties struggle to find a deal under the pressure that Bill 148, which imposed restrictions on both parties.

“We are hopeful that the employer will take a very short pause and return to the table with a more reasonable approach to negotiations so that we can reach a fairly bargained settlement and avoid a strike,” says CUPE National Representative Grant Dart.

Members of CUPE 3890 will meet with their bargaining committee and staff near the end of the month to review the offer made by the employer and to discuss next steps and potential job action.

Outstanding issues include wages, failure to replace workers who require time off, bussing for extracurricular trips, elimination of severance awards, and term of the new agreement.

The previous collective agreement expired March 31, 2015.

CUPE 3890 represents 400 members in the following classifications: school bus drivers, bus mechanics, maintenance inventory and warehouse clerks, tradespersons, safety technicians, general maintenance, groundskeepers, custodians and labourers.