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Toronto—“By refusing to negotiate fairly with custodial and maintenance staff and forcing a strike, the Durham Catholic District Board is dancing to the tune of the provincial Tories and helping the government destroy what’s left of our once quality education system,” says Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

170 custodial and maintenance workers, members of CUPE Local 218, have been on strike since August 12. They are striking to protect current staffing levels to ensure Durham Catholic schools are kept clean and safe.

“The board on the other hand,” charges Ryan, “is not thinking of the well-being of students by proposing to chop 30 custodial and maintenance employees. Some boards, to their credit, are no longer willing to do the Tory jig. They are saying no more cuts. But this board is falling in step with the Tories, who refuse to acknowledge that they have forced a flawed education funding formula on our public system.

“I urge the members of Durham Catholic Board to search their conscience - as other school board trustees are doing - and ask themselves how much longer they are prepared to do the bidding of this government. Are they prepared to continue to put students and workers at risk.”

Ryan will be the keynote speaker at a rally in support of the striking workers and their families on Monday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the CAW Hall, 1425 Phillip Murray Avenue, Oshawa.


For more information please contact:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario (416) 209-0066

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774