BIGGAR: The union representing striking education workers in the Biggar Public School Division filed three unfair labour practices against the employer yesterday for violating provisions of the Trade Union Act.
The Division Board, led by SSTA negotiator Bill Wells, has repeatedly contravened the provisions of the Trade Union Act and has failed to act in respectful manner during this contract dispute, said Bill Robb, staff representative for CUPE Local 2128, which represents the 46 teaching and library assistants, secretaries and caretakers.
The first Unfair Labour Practice application says the employer attempted to discourage union activity by circulating names of striking employees deemed to be qualified and publishing to the general public the terms of the employers final offer. A second ULP application argues that the school division circumvented the union by trying to negotiate directly with the employees through a five-page letter. The last ULP application alleges that the Biggar Public School Division, along with the SSTA and SSTA Employee Benefit Plan, threatened to deny long-term disability and health benefits to striking employees.
The union only wants to negotiate a fair collective agreement with the employer, one that respects existing seniority rights and job security provisions, said Robb. Its difficult to do this when the provisions of the Trade Union Act are not adhered to.
The support workers have now entered the twelfth week of their strike. The school employees work in the communities of Biggar, Cando, Sonningdale, Handel, Landis and three Hutterite colonies.
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For more information contact
Bea Devenny or Penny McCallum
at CUPE strike headquarters in Biggar