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February 27, 2000, Gulf Islands Yvonne Fee, President of CUPE Local 788, representing support staff who work at schools throughout the Gulf Islands reported today that her members voted 90% in favour of strike action should that action become necessary during the current round of negotiations.

Fee stressed that she and her members want their board to ” Stand up and take responsibility for the erosion of support services in our school district. The Board cannot, on the one hand simply hand over responsibility for decision making that affects the quality of services CUPE members can provide and on the other expect members to keep sitting here at the bargaining table while nothing gets done to improve the situation.”

“Significant issues for CUPE 788,” said Fee, “are issues of job security and benefits. These issues are very tied to the services that CUPE members are in a position to provide to the students, teachers, parents and administrators who depend on our work.”

CUPE 788 is a member of the 47-local CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee. CUPE national representative and bargaining co-ordinator, Gary Johnson said, “Gulf Islands CUPE members have been struggling on their own to deal with the erosion of support services. Now they join others across the province who are having similar problems trying to make the employers at all levels, right up to the provincial government, stop and consider the important issues at hand here. We are running out of time.”

Yvonne Fee, President, CUPE 788, Gulf Island Schools
Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative
(604) 219-3703

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