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Custodial and maintenance workers in Durham Region, represented by CUPE Local 218, have been on strike for over a week now.

“The Durham Catholic Board pushed us out the door,” said Lorraine Clarke, chair of the 170-member custodial and maintenance workers group. “They continue to insist on changes to the square-footage per custodian formula, which will reduce the number of staff in our schools, and ultimately endangers the health and safety of students.”

“This is the second-smallest group of workers in the board, and the only one the employer is coming after for concessions,” said local president Don Bryans. “At a time when other school boards in Ontario are standing up to the Tories and rejecting their funding formula, the Durham Catholic Board is trying to ram through cuts on the backs of custodians and maintenance workers.”

At a well-attended support rally held earlier this week, members of the community and other unions came out to stand alongside the striking local. “We are counting on parents and students to pressure the board to get back to the table,” said Clarke. “They know that reducing the number of front-line workers in the schools threatens the quality of education. Our fight is their fight.”

To send messages of support – or to email trustees through the local’s web site – visit angelfire.com/on4/cupelocal218.