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WINNIPEG CUPE Manitoba President Paul Moist says his unions members want to work with the provincial government to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for all workers in the upcoming amalgamations of school divisions announced yesterday by Minister Drew Caldwell.

We want to meet with the government to ensure there is a human resources plan in place that will minimize the affect on school division workers and ensure a smooth transition during the amalgamation process, Moist said. CUPE has a great deal of experience in these kinds of mergers, both from the health care sector here in Manitoba, and in school boards across the country.

Yesterday Caldwell, the Manitoba Minister for Education, Training and Youth, announced that a number of the provinces 54 school divisions will merge. New division boundaries are to be created throughout Manitoba reducing the number of divisions to 37 one third fewer. Caldwell said all regions would undergo some changes.

Terry Egan, Chair of CUPEs School Division Steering Committee says CUPE is confident its experience will be an asset to the province in working towards a transition that meets the needs of both workers and students, and their parents.

Like the province, we want to smooth out any rough spots in the transition plan in advance, so we can avoid any undue upheaval for workers or students, Egan said.

About 3,800 CUPE members work in school divisions spread throughout the province.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. 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