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National President Paul Moist joined striking school support workers from Wadena School Division on the picket line November 27, saluting their spirit and pledging continued support from members across the country.

Despite the fact theyve been walking the line for more than 100 days, the mood on the line was strong. I was struck by their good spirits and resolve, says Moist. The members have never had a strike in their 17 years with CUPE, but they have found a new strength within themselves and with one another. Im confident that this solidarity and new found strength and resolve will get them through.

The strikers were ecstatic to hear about the enthusiastic support they received from delegates to national convention both moral and financial. When matched by CUPE National, donations from delegates for the Wadena strikers amounted to $23,000. Their spirits have also been buoyed by the support theyve received directly from locals in Saskatchewan and across the country.

Earlier in the week, the workers were in Saskatoon to picket the annual convention of Saskatchewans school trustees. The trustees association in particular, its chief negotiator, whose main claim to fame seems to be the ability to achieve deadlocks where settlements were at hand has played a key role in pushing a long list of concessions.

The school support workers, members of CUPE 3078, have been trying to reach a settlement for nearly three years. They began rotating strikes on April 9 and a general strike on August 25.

Schools in seven Saskatchewan communities are affected by the strike.