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Wadena: The Wadena School Division returned to the bargaining table yesterday with the same bad attitude it has shown throughout this round of contract negotiations.

We had hoped to see a positive change in the employers bargaining position after it was convicted earlier this month of three unfair labour practices, says CUPE 3078 president Donna Zarowny. But the employer returned to the table unrepentant and unreformed.

The two sides met in Wadena yesterday for thirteen hours, exchanging proposals through a provincial conciliator. Negotiations ground to a halt when:

  • the School Board said it wants to terminate the seven (7) employees, Quill Lake Teacher Associates, who were just reinstated to their jobs by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board,
  • AND that there be NO consequences for employees who crossed the picket line during the strike,
  • AND the Union pay benefit costs for striking workers AND those who crossed the picket line too.

The union tabled a number of proposals to resolve these issues and to keep on meeting but the School Board is not prepared to continue negotiations on anything else until those issues are settled on THEIR terms, no matter how much more time it takes.

The employer gets a failing grade for its performance yesterday, says Zarowny, adding the union may file another unfair labour practice against the division board for refusing to bargain in good faith. Two more unfair labour practice charges against the board are pending.

Zarowny encouraged residents in the Wadena School Division to get out and vote in todays school board elections. Clearly, it is going to be easier to elect good people today than fight bad ones.

CUPE education workers in the school division have been on strike for 69 days.

The strike affects schools in Quill Lake, Quill Lake Hutterite Colony, Wadena, Archerwill, Kelvington, Lintlaw and Rose Valley.

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For more information contact
Donna Zarowny: 338-3121
Sharon Lockwood: 221-3952.