Trustees don’t want to resolve issue - Lanovaz
LETHBRIDGE – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is upset with Livingstone Range School trustees for issuing lockout notice to employees today. CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz says the trustees are clearly not interested in a negotiated settlement.
“Without providing a single reason why, trustees are provoking and escalating a dispute in our schools that could easily run into the school year,” said Lanovaz. “By issuing lockout notice, trustees are turning their backs on their employees, on the public, and on the students who depend upon support staff.”
“Rather than try to negotiate a solution, or continue to use the services of the mediator, trustees are playing chicken with our children’s education.”
Lanovaz said the union is asking trustees to limit the growing use of contractors and casual employees in the school system.
“For years, Livingstone Range trustees have put our children’s safety and welfare in the hands of casual and contracted out persons,” said Lanovaz. “We believe school work should not be treated casually. Permanent employees have the experience and the knowledge to keep students well cared for and properly educated.”
“All we are asking is for trustees to give existing employees the security to know they will not be contracted out or made casual,” said Lanovaz. “With those assurances, employees can do their jobs.”
Lanovaz said the union is willing to negotiate with trustees at any time, but accused trustees of preferring to duck responsibility.
“The problem is the trustees won’t come to the table – instead, they’ve hired an Edmonton based management consultant at hundreds of dollars per hour to stonewall employees,” said Lanovaz. “In Lethbridge – where trustees were more involved, bargaining went smoothly.”
President, CUPE Alberta