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DELTA Delta School District maintenance workers walked off the job this morning in protest over the School Boards refusal to pay support workers members of CUPE local 1091 retroactive pay that goes back almost two years.

Our members have been forced into a provincial agreement that requires school boards across the province to pay one percent retroactive pay effective January 1st 1999, says Colin Pawson, president of CUPE local 1091. The employers refusal to pay us what were legally entitled to has left us with no alternative other than to take this action.

Approximately 100 workers have been protesting in front of the Delta School District maintenance building located at 7186 Brown St. in the Tilbury Industrial Park in Delta, since 7:30 this morning.

Local 1091 together with support workers from 46 other school boards in the province have been in negotiations with their employers represented by the B.C. Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA) since August 1998. After a weeklong strike that was abruptly halted by government legislation last April, CUPE reluctantly agreed to new binding arbitration process headed by the Industrial Inquiry Commission #2.

On June 7th the commission submitted its report calling for the one- percent retroactive pay increase and later that month, CUPE school board locals overwhelmingly ratified their recommendations for settlement. Yet despite this important victory, most school boards have been reluctant to bring in the IICs binding decision, citing problems with implementing the agreement.

What part of the IICs decision does this school board not understand? asks Pawson. If this school board along with school boards across the province dont act immediately to remedy this situation and implement the IICs binding recommendations were going to be back where we were last April.

Local 1091 represents 800 maintenance workers, secretaries, crossing guards, special education workers and custodians who work for School District 37. In total, CUPE represents 23,000 school board workers in B.C.

For more information please contact:
Colin Pawson at (604) 312-7595 or
Gary Johnson at (604) 291-1940

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