WINNIPEG – Delegates to CUPE’s national convention representing 540,000 CUPE members today voted unanimously to support the BC Teachers’ Federation in its ongoing dispute with the provincial Liberal government.
The resolution, a response to Monday’s announcement of Bill 12 (Teachers’ Collective Agreement Act), commits the national union, its BC division and the Hospital Employees’ Union (the health services division of CUPE in B.C.) to undertake “whatever actions deemed necessary” to provide the BCTF with all the support it requests.
The BCTF will announce the results of its strike vote later today. “If teachers across British Columbia decide to go on strike as a result of regressive legislation that this government has forced upon them, then our members will be there with them every step of the way –we will be with them on the picket lines,” said CUPE national president Paul Moist.
Moist said that the B.C. government’s action concerns all union members across the country. “Union members across the country will not tolerate this attack on free collective bargaining,” he added. “Our national union, for one, will stand with its sisters and brothers in B.C. and do whatever we can to stop this teacher bashing.”
The resolution rebukes the Campbell government for launching yet another legislative attack on collective bargaining rights and for undermining the BCTF’s efforts “to negotiate improved learning conditions for B.C. students including smaller class sizes and better resources for special needs students.”
Bill 12, the resolution says, will have a direct impact on “future rounds of bargaining for CUPE’s 25,000 school board workers in B.C. and for 45,000 CUPE members in post-secondary education and other sectors.”
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