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May 12, 2000 Burnaby, BC Not a single school district achieved a ratified collective agreement under talks ordered by the provincial governments Bill 7, says President of CUPE BC, Barry ONeill, underlining the need for the provincial government to take responsibility to solve the continuing crisis in school bargaining.

“Our locals returned to the table to bargain with local school boards in good faith,” ONeill said, “and we have met with the same obstruction, concession demands and contempt for our members that we have encountered for the past 18 months”.

“This just reinforces our members determination to step up the pressure on the provincial government to ensure that we achieve a negotiated collective agreement that we can submit to ratification by our members. Imposed solutions will not work.”

Gary Johnson, CUPEs K-12 Bargaining Coordinator has just completed a survey of local bargaining as the union puts the finishing touches on its proposals for settlement, which will be delivered to Industrial Inquiry Commissioners (IIC) Irene Holden and Vince Ready after a rally in Vancouver on Monday.

Johnson said the government must use the next stage of the (IIC) process to negotiate with CUPE to achieve an agreement that meets school support workers needs for employment security, a minimum four-hour shift, contracting out and fair wages and benefits.

“School employers have told us they wont bargain because they dont believe the government will fund anything that is not imposed by the IIC. We will not accept a contract imposed by the commission. We will only accept an agreement our members can ratify. Victoria has to take responsibility to move to a solution.”

Louise Leclair CUPE Communications Representative
(604) 291-1940 or (604) 454-4711

Opeiu 491

CUPE Hotline 1-888-345-FAIR
L.M. 878-FAIR (3247)