February 21, 2000, Queen Charlotte City After two days, bargaining has gone as far as possible between CUPE Local 2020 support staff, and District 50, Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands, as local employers are not able to resolve serious issues that have significant impacts on the quality of services being delivered to students by support staff in the district. About 80 members in Masset, Queen Charlotte City, Port Clements, Sandspit and Skidegate will vote on whether or not to give their bargaining committee a mandate to strike should that action become necessary. Dates set to take the strike votes are February 27, 28 and 29.
“A number of our issues have to do with fairness,” said Anne Mountifield, President of CUPE Local 2020. “Our members want an immediate end to the pay differences of 10% less for doing the same work. In addition, our members feel that the off island travel allowance offered to every other employee group should also be offered to support staff.”
In addition to local issues with monetary implications CUPE Local 2020 members, who are part of the K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee found that employers were not able to deal with the larger issues of Job Security, Pay Equity, Benefits, Pensions and Wages issues that are common among the 47 school support locals in the province.
Gary Johnson, CUPEs co-ordinator of bargaining in the K-12 sector said, “Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte joins many of the 47 locals who are part of the CUPE K-12 sectoral bargaining committee who have been pushed to the point of having to take a strike vote because their employers hands are tied. With every strike vote taken, employer stakeholders must begin to see that there is a pattern of service reduction taking place throughout the province that can be resolved through co-operation and negotiation. But the political will must be there.”
Dorothy Sutherland, Local 2020
Gary Johnson, K-12 Coordinator
CUPE BC Region
291-1940 or 219-3703