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Toronto Striking education workers will return to their schools for picket duty on Monday, April 23rd, with a message for parents and students. Although classes have been cancelled by the School Board, parents and students will be entering schools to drop off and pick up assignments. The text of the letter appears below. It will also appear as an ad in the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun on Monday. Thirteen thousand members of CUPE 4400 have been on strike since March 31st to fight for fair wages and job security.

Text of the letter:

A message to Toronto parents from CUPE 4400

We hope that by the time you read this, the Board has withdrawn its demands for rollbacks and we will have been able to reach a tentative agreement with the Toronto District School Board.

We dont want to be on strike, we want to be at work. We want to be back in the schools, with the people we know, doing our part to provide quality education for students.

If were still on strike when you read this, its because the Toronto school Trustees are still attacking our 1999 settlement and are still refusing to make us a fair wage offer.

We were on strike for two weeks in 1999 for job security now weve been forced to fight the battles of 1999 all over again. This is unfair to everyone involved.

We deeply regret the enormous inconvenience the strike has caused for everyone. We dont want the strike to drag on we want a fair settlement.

Were on strike because we have no choice our jobs are at risk and we havent seen a real raise in years.

By protecting our jobs, were protecting services and programs in your school services we provide.

Many parents and students have offered us their support. We thank you for your encouragement.

Please contact your school Trustee; their numbers appear below. Please urge your Trustee to reconsider their position, to stop trying to roll back the 1999 contract and to offer a fair wage settlement.

The school board has the money to settle this dispute. The province has the resources to restore quality public education in Ontario.

We will continue to work hard for a negotiated settlement. Your support makes all the difference.

Original signed by CUPE 4400 President John Weatherup.

For further information, please contact:
Maggie Davidson, CUPE 4400. 416-597-3957, ext. 225