CUPE 5047 education workers on picket lineAs the School Support Workers represented by CUPE 5047 continue to strike, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) has decided to hire replacement workers to fill their positions rather than making a reasonable offer to end the strike.

On May 13th, 2023, the HRCE began advertising School Support positions currently held by the workers on strike. Instead of returning to the table, the HRCE is wasting time and money hiring new employees who will have to complete multiple background checks and go through training before they can even start working. The hundreds of workers on the picket lines right now already have the qualifications and training, so why won’t the HRCE and Houston government dedicate those resources to their current employees?

Over 1800 school support workers are on strike for a deal that better represents the work they do and the current cost of living crisis. Their bargaining power comes from the ability to stop work by striking and show the Employer they will fight for more for both themselves and their fellow workers. Hiring replacement workers to fill their positions directly undermines our Supreme Court-protected right to strike.

“Is that the message the HRCE and the Houston government want to send to Nova Scotians?” asked CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen. “That Nova Scotia is a province that disempowers the workers fighting for better wages? If not, it’s time to table anti-scab legislation that prevents this from happening to any worker in the future.”

“Whether they fill our positions or not, we will continue to fight. We’ll be on those picket lines until we are offered a better deal,” said CUPE 5047 President Chris Melanson. “Parents deserve better for their children to be supported and our members deserve better than to be kept out of the classroom because we can’t get a fair wage.”