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OSHAWA – 170 custodial and maintenance workers with the Durham Catholic District School Board are now on strike, after mediated talks on Friday failed to secure a settlement. The workers are represented by CUPE Local 218.

“We didn’t want to be on strike,” said Lorraine Clarke, chair of the custodial and maintenance workers group, “but the Board did not move an inch on Friday. They continue to push for changes to the square-footage per custodian formula, which will reduce the number of custodians and ultimately endangers the health and safety of students. We feel very strongly that this is unacceptable.”

“We were willing to work through the weekend in mediation in order to avert a strike,” said Local 218 President Don Bryans. “But the Board made it quite clear that they had nothing to say – a surprise to us given that we had extended our previous strike deadline at their request.”

Picket lines have gone up this morning at several schools and at the Board’s offices. During the strike, custodians will not be available to open schools for teachers who are beginning to prepare for the new school year. As well, maintenance and repair work currently underway will be delayed.

CUPE represents 180, 000 working women and men in Ontario, many of whom work for school boards, hospitals, municipalities and universities.


For more information, contact:

Lorraine Clarke, CUPE Local 218 Unit Chair, 905-922-7182 (cell)

Don Bryans, CUPE Local 218 President, 905-431-5811 (cell)

Linda Newman, CUPE National Representative, 905-706-9786 (cell)

Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999, ext. 240