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MOOSE JAW: The union representing police communication and clerical employees in Moose Jaw served strike notice to the Board of Police Commissioners today.

Our members voted unanimously to back job action earlier this year and they remain firm in their resolve to negotiate a fair contract that respects and values their work, said Malcolm Matheson, staff representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 9.

Contract negotiations between the Board of Police Commissioners and CUPE Local 9 resumed briefly in January, after talks broke down last year.

The 21 police support workers are seeking wage parity with their counterparts in Prince Albert, who receive higher wages for similar work.

Moose Jaw’s mayor and police chief have received parity with their counterparts in Prince Albert. Moose Jaw city councillors also recently received a raise of 39 percent, said Matheson. These workers just want to be treated fairly.

The union invited police chief Terry Coleman to outline the boards latest offer directly to the police support staff at a meeting held yesterday. After the presentation, the members expressed their support for their bargaining committee.

The employer is still refusing to make any significant changes to its bargaining position,” said Matheson. The police civilian employees contribute greatly to the security of their community, but they remain undervalued and underpaid.”

The workers, who are predominantly women, include communication officers, forensic technicians, administrative assistants, information system and victim services co-ordinators, court services and criminal investigation section (CIS) assistants.

The police support staff perform a variety of tasks, such as handling emergency calls, searching female prisoners for weapons, needles and drugs, assisting with fingerprinting and maintaining criminal record information.

Matheson said the workers would begin their job action with a ban on overtime starting Thursday.

The workers have been without a new contract for two years.

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For more information contact staff representative Malcolm Matheson at 525-5874.