Calgary Custodial and maintenance staff with the Calgary Public School Board have a ratified a new two-year contract for an 8 per cent pay raise. The school support workers are members of CUPE 40.
We are pleased with the wage increase which gives our members recognition for the hard work they do to clean and maintain our schools, said Drake Hammill, president of CUPE 40. Now we need to move on to address the dire shortage in staffing, he added.
The new agreement is retroactive to September 1 giving the CUPE members a 4 percent wage increase this year and 4 per cent November 1, 2004. In addition, wages for some trades and for the wage for the weekend watch will be increased to reflect market rates. The contract was ratified by union members yesterday.
Our members are suffering from tremendous workload. While the wage increase is deserved, the next issue for our union is stepping up the pressure for adequate funding to meet real staffing needs, said Hammill.
CUPE 40 will join with other CUPE locals across the province in a campaign to raise awareness on the need for more support staff in Albertas schools. The union plans to conduct a survey among its members to assess the impact to students of under-funding support services.
Last month the Learning Commission recognized the need to increase funding for operations and maintenance to repair our crumbling schools and ensure students have appropriate learning environments, he said. Now we need to make sure the Klein government recognizes it as well and is prepared to fund school boards so that they can meet staffing needs, he said.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca.
For more information:
Pam Beattie, CUPE Communications
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)
President CUPE Local 40