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The union representing over 800 Educational Support Staff at the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) will return to the bargaining table February 13, this time with a 93 per cent strike vote from its members.

CUPE National Representative Marianne Welsh says contract talks will resume with the assistance of a Conciliation Officer from the Department of Labour.

Local 5047 President Ian Wilson says, “After holding a series of strike vote meetings across the Halifax Regional Municipality between January 27 and February 5,we received a very strong strike mandate from our members. We trust this will send a message to our employer that a much more concerted effort has to be made to resolve the outstanding issues in this dispute.”

Local 5047 represents HRSB employees who work as Community Outreach Workers, Early Childhood Educators (Lead and Support), Educational Program Assistants, Library Support Specialists, and Student Support Workers. These employees are usually school based, and support students in over 140 sites across HRM - from Sheet Harbour to Hubbards.