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January 14, 2000, Burnaby, B.C. CUPE local representatives from across the province, members of the K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee, met in Burnaby Wednesday to discuss support for CUPE locals planning strike action next week: CUPE Local 379 (Burnaby School Workers) and CUPE Local 703 (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows School Workers).

Terry Allen, President of CUPE local 379, representing school workers in Burnaby expressed concern at the employers failure to move on any of the key issues. Our members are frustrated with both the local school board and the BC Public School Employers Association. We have watched the steady erosion in the quality of services in Burnabys schools services which students and parents in this district have a right to expect. A strike is our last resort but at this point, we just dont see any other way.

Leslie Franklin from CUPE 703 in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows echoed Allens views. In Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, CUPE members are committed to delivering the services our students need. Our work supports everything the schools try to do for students and for parents, she said. We hope it wont come to a strike but, if it does, were ready.

The Sectoral Bargaining Committee is ready too. Locals from around the province pledged their support for CUPE members in Burnaby and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, agreeing that there must be significant movement by the employer if the job action planned for January 20th is to be averted.

Outstanding issues in the dispute include job security and workload. The K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee re-affirmed its commitment to a settlement in Burnaby and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, that will serve as a model for other locals currently in negotiations.

Gary Johnson, National Representative
(604) 219-3703
Jan Taylor, Communications Representative
(604) 291-1940.

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