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WINNIPEG The Canadian Union of Public Employees told Education Minister Drew Caldwell in a meeting yesterday that the province must ensure that it deals with workers issues if it wants a smooth transition during the upcoming amalgamations of school divisions.

We know from our experience with health care that it is absolutely essential to have a good human resources plan in place and well thought out legislation to deal with workers rights during the ongoing amalgamation process, said CUPE Manitoba President Paul Moist. We want a smooth, expedient transition to ensure that services to parents and students are maintained and any disruption is minimized.

About 3,800 CUPE members work in school divisions across the province. When Caldwell announced the school division mergers last November, the Minister said all regions would undergo some changes in the redrawing of division boundaries. The new divisions are expected to create new electoral wards by March 1.

Terry Egan, Chair of CUPEs School Division Steering Committee says workers need to know their concerns will be addressed.

People are asking How will the transition affect me and my work? and we want to be able to answer their questions and reassure them that their jobs wont be sacrificed in the merger process, Egan said.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child care, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Paul Moist, CUPE Manitoba President
Cell: (204) 981-2873
Terry Egan, Chair, CUPE School Division Steering Committee
Cell: (204) 795-9901