February 27, 2000, North Vancouver A strike vote taken on Saturday, February 26, 2000 has given the bargaining committee of CUPE Local 389, North Vancouver Schools, the mandate to call a strike should that action become necessary during upcoming negotiations.
Cindy McQueen, President of CUPE Local 389, said, “Our members are frustrated with the lack of respect from our employer and the failure to recognize the services we provide to the students, teachers, parents and administrators of this school district. The board and district should be working with CUPE to repair the infrastructure that has been so badly eroded over the last few years by insufficient funding.”
McQueen said, “The sense of job insecurity that school support workers have is directly related to the kind of work and service we are able to provide. This board should be addressing the workload issues and pushing the BC Public Sector Employers Association and government to restore the clean and healthy environment of the school district instead of presenting a “good enough” attitude when it comes to infrastructure.”
“When there arent enough custodians to do the work how do people think the bathrooms and classrooms get cleaned; and when the crossing guards were cut this community learned the hard way, that no one is there to pick up the pieces.” said McQueen.
The CUPE Local 389 President is concerned that while the media, parents and administrators are making noise about safety and quality of education they continue to allow the very services that strengthen those areas to erode.
CUPE 389 is a member of the CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee along with 47 other CUPE locals in BC. Each local is working on gaining a series of common issues including Job Security, Benefits, Pensions and Pay Equity. Gary Johnson, CUPE national representative is the bargaining co-ordinator for the SBC.
Johnson says, “the number of strike votes are piling up because the issues that CUPE locals have on the table cant be resolved by their local boards. The BC Public School Employers Association and government will have to act soon to ensure that job action is not called.”
Cindy McQueen, President, CUPE 389
Gary Johnson, CUPE national servicing representative