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WINNIPEG CUPE members who work as teaching and non-teaching staff at Holy Cross School have overwhelmingly voted to accept their first contract with a 9 per cent wage increase over two years. The Catholic school is the first private school to be organized into a CUPE union local in the province.

As well, under the agreement, four instructional assistants, who had been earning just $9.27 an hour, will see their wages jump by more than 25 per cent. Wages for the four workers are now $10.85 an hour, retroactive to last August, with a further increase to $11.65 on September 1 this year.

Weve been waiting for this for a long time. Its long overdue, said CUPE 4434 President Elaine Pankiw. Weve seen many injustices within the Catholic school system and we wanted to unionize. Were extremely happy.

Eighty per cent of the more than two dozen Holy Cross School workers are women.

The private school employees decided to form a union and joined CUPE last April. The new deal is the first contract for the new CUPE local which represents all staff at Holy Cross, both teaching and non-teaching workers from the level of vice-principal to the schools custodian.

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:
Elaine Pankiw, CUPE 4434 President
Phone: (work) 237-4936

Brian Ellis, CUPE Staff Representative
Phone: 942-0343 ext. 226