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November 1, 1999, Delta, BCT006800650020nearly 800 members of CUPE Local 1091, Delta School Support Workers tonight voted 83% in favour of giving their bargaining committee a mandate to call a strike or call for other job action as a step in their pursuit of a new contract.

Newly elected president Colin Pawson said, “Our members are disgusted with the arrogance and wastefulness of this school board and its appointed negotiators.”

The local has written the board offering numerous possibilities for bargaining dates. But the board is refusing to negotiate pending a BC Labour Relations Board hearing taking place at their instigation.

“Instead they’ve gone to the LRB with a frivolous complaint, which is only serving to delay negotiations and demonstrate this board’s hypocrisy.” says Pawson.

And CUPE members are furious that the board is spending education dollars on lawyers whose aim is to delay bargaining.

“Every penny they spend needlessly on lawyers equals another special needs child who doesn’t get needed support, another book that isn’t bought for a library and another cross walk guard that isn’t there to ensure child safety.” said Pawson.

Pawson stated clearly that his members do not relish the thought of going out on strike, “But people feel they have no choice in the matter. We’re not being taken seriously by the Board and the provincial government’s super boss is heard and felt, but never seen.”

Delta School support workers take care of all support functions in Delta Schools from janitorial and maintenance to clerical, special education assistants and crossing guards.

CUPE Local 1091 is one of 47 school locals across the province that form CUPE’s K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee.

Information: Colin Pawson, President, CUPE Local 1091 (604)940-8596 or Louise Leclair