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PETERBOROUGH, ON – Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board workers have asked the provincial ministry of Labour to assign a conciliation officer to assist with contract negotiations after talks with their employer broke off, setting the stage for a potential strike in the New Year.  The school board workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have been in negotiations with their employer since September.

“We are disappointed that talks have broken off,” said Donna Carlaw, president of CUPE 5555.  “We’ve been bargaining for months and we hope that a provincial conciliator will help us make progress with management negotiators and avoid a strike.” Several critical issues remain outstanding, including wages, benefits and job security.

The over 1200 workers include office, clerical, technical, custodial, maintenance, educational assistants, counselling, naturalists, child and youth workers and speech pathology professionals in schools across Northumberland and Peterborough Counties, including Peterborough, Bowmanville, Port Hope, Cobourg, Campellford, Brighton, Clarington and Quinte West. Their last contract expired on August 31, 2005.  

“We will do our best to avoid a strike,” said Carlaw.  “But we are beginning to prepare our members in case we are pushed into a strike situation.”  A strike vote will be held on Saturday, January 7th at the Rock Haven Convention Centre in Peterborough, at
10:00 am.


For further information, please contact:

Donna Carlaw, President Local 5555             705-742-5356
Derek Blackadder, CUPE National Representative     705-930-3724
James Chai, CUPE Communications             416-292-3999