One hundred and sixty-five Educational Assistants working for the Medicine Hat Public School Board voted 78% in favour of becoming the newest members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
The new members join custodial and clerical staff at the board as the third unit of CUPE Local 829, which also represents education workers at the Catholic and Prairie Rose School Divisions.
CUPE Alberta President Dennis Mol said the group joined CUPE because they are looking for better provisions for summer layoff and a pension plan.
“Almost every unionized Educational Assistant in the province is part of a pension plan, so that will be a top priority for bargaining,” said Mol.
CUPE represents over 7,400 non teaching staff in Alberta and over 110,000 across Canada.
“By joining CUPE, this group gets access to a large network of labour relations experts, massive research resources in the field of education, assistance with bargaining, dispute resolution and public relations. CUPE has faced many issues in education already and we can use our experience to assist these new members,” said Mol.