FORT MACLEOD – Custodial employees, teaching assistants, bus drivers and other workers at the Livingstone Range School Division have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike.
The employees, who belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), voted 88% in favour of job action. There was a 90% turnout of eligible voters.
CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz said the employees were angry at proposals aimed at eliminating job security and turning long time employees into casual, contract workers.
“The school district should be ashamed of itself,” said Lanovaz. “No other school district in the province is putting forward these kinds of proposals.”
“These are the people who assist special needs students, the staff who make sure schools are clean and well maintained, and the people who keep kids safe on the school bus,” said Lanovaz. “They do good work and deserve more than casual status. There is nothing casual about their commitment to public education.”
Lanovaz said the union is going to try and negotiate with the employer on June 7th. If talks prove fruitless, job action will be considered in the future.
“We will make every effort to get a contract settled without a strike,” said Lanovaz. “But the school trustees have to step up and show some respect for the people who work for them.”
For more information about CUPE Alberta, visit www.alberta.cupe.ca