CORNWALL Talks scheduled for October 31 and November 1 are seen as the last chance to avoid a strike by 285 custodial and clerical support staff at the Conseil de district catholique de lest ontarien (French catholic board of eastern Ontario), according to Local 4155 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We have a strike vote of 96% from the membership to proceed with a strike if negotiations fail at the end of the month, says Bob Manny, CUPE National Representative.
We have extended our strike deadline to midnight November 1st to allow for two days of talks, says Manny, but if the Boards attitude at the negotiating table doesnt improve, there will be a strike. The Local is in a legal strike or lockout position as of October 19th.
The custodians, secretaries and other education support staff cover a wide area from Hawkesbury in the East, to Embrun and Russell in the West. The education environment of students in 51 catholic schools would be affected by the strike.
Our members care deeply about their work, and the last thing we want is a strike, says Manny, but were fighting for fair wages after having gone since 1989 without a real increase. We urge residents of Eastern Ontario to contact their school board trustee and tell them to do what it takes to avoid a strike, concludes Manny.