The president of CUPE Ontario addressed members of CUPE 4155 at their meeting on Saturday, February 4 in St. Albert.

President Fred Hahn delivered a message of solidarity and encouragement to the education workers at the eastern Ontario school board Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO), who expect to be on strike as of Tuesday, February 7.

“Despite months spent in negotiations, the bargaining committee of the CSDCEO refused to agree to a deal with the union,” said Hahn. “This board now has the dubious honour of being the only school board in Ontario without a local collective agreement with its education workers and that intransigence has led to a strike.”

Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE 4155, explained that CUPE remains open to negotiating with the CSDCEO, but at the very least needed a partner willing to work with the union.

“Bargaining isn’t a one-sided process,” he said. “At this point we have no written proposals from the employer on the most contentious topic for our members.”

Because of the CSDCEO’s refusal to reach a local agreement with the bargaining committee of CUPE 4155, supervisors, school administrators, clerks, maintenance workers, library technicians and IT technicians are preparing to take strike action at midnight on February 7.

Members of CUPE 4155 have been in a legal strike position ever since the local officially gave five days’ notice of strike action to the Council of Trustees Association (CTA) on Wednesday, February 1.

“We were very pleased to welcome Brother Fred Hahn to our meeting,” said Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE 4155. “Our members are greatly encouraged by the support of our CUPE brothers and sisters.”