March 2, 2000, Burnaby CUPE national representative, Gary Johnson, who negotiates with CUPE Local 1091on behalf of school support workers in Delta, recommends that parents and others in Delta look critically at the scare tactics being applied to the current round of bargaining by their school administration.
“The same person who is behind demands for major concessions at the local bargaining table,” says Johnson, “is clearly trying to cause a panic among the parents of his own community instead of doing everything in his power to work with other district employers, the provincial government and CUPE, to bring about a resolution to contract negotiations that could result in a significantly improved quality of life for students, parents and teachers as well as CUPE members.”
While the Chief negotiator for the Delta School District is named on a media release issued on March 1, 2000, Johnson and others suggest that the force behind the scare tactics is none other than Ontario import, Syd Baxter.
Johnson said, “Among the vast majority of school districts Delta is alone in trying to gut its employees collective agreement during this round of negotiations. It is precisely this kind of whim that government education policy needs to address when planning for a stable education system. Gutting and eroding the infrastructure and support base of the schools will weaken the public school system here, as it has done in other provincial jurisdictions.
In addition, said Johnson, “The concessionary demands of this employer have been so profound and upsetting to Local 1091 CUPE members that the possibility of even reaching a point of discussing key improvements in job security, pay equity, benefits and pension seem remote.”
The local is unequivocal in stating that their employers release is riddled with inaccuracies. Clearly says Johnson, “This employers aggression has little to do with support staff bargaining in the District of Delta.”
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative
Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.bc.ca/sbc