February 24, 2000, Ashcroft The 227 members of CUPE Local 173 have reached a contentious point in bargaining with their employer and have decided to take a strike vote. A yes vote will give the local bargaining committee a mandate to strike should that action become necessary. Local 173 is among the 47 CUPE locals participating in the K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee (SBC).
Job security, including the erosion of jobs and services, is a serious problem for members of Local 173. Members are concerned about volunteers doing CUPE work while CUPE members are laid off.
“Support staff and the services we deliver,” said Anita Moore, President of CUPE Local 173, “are always the price paid when school employers bring down cuts to hours. Our members are fed up. They are saying enough is enough.”
”CUPE members want to be treated fairly.” said Moore. ” One thing that has really sent members over the roof is finding out that wage guidelines have been lifted for the most highly paid members of the education bureaucracy. Meanwhile we are looking for the kinds of basic improvements that will do as much for those we provide services to as it will for ourselves. Were being told that 0-0-2 is it.”
Gary Johnson, CUPE National Representative and SBC co-ordinator, welcomed the news about Gold Trails decision to seek a strike mandate as a sign of the ever-increasing degree of solidarity among the 47 CUPE school locals. “We are seeing the momentum build and that is a sign of solidarity based on common concernsthe future of support staff jobs and services.”
Anita Moore President, CUPE Local 173
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative
Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.bc.ca/sbc