The strike by 46 school support workers in the Biggar public school division is entering its tenth week but spirits on the picket line remain high.
The workers, members of CUPE Local 2128, held an Easter Day parade through downtown Biggar on March 27. Members donned Easter bonnets, sang songs and waved CUPE banners.
Bea Devenny, a teaching assistant at the Biggar Central School, says the workers are pleased with the support they have received from the community and other unions. Citizens are walking the picket line and a storeowner recently insisted on giving the workers a gallon of hot chocolate to help fend off the cold weather.
“Part of the reason we have been able to keep up our spirits and be so strong is because of all the support we have received to date,” says Devenny.
The education workers have been on strike since February 4, after rejecting the employer’s final offer, which would have gutted the collective agreement, eroding seniority and other basic union rights.
“They want to break the union,” she says. “One way to do this is to give management more power and take our seniority away,”
CUPE members across the country are encouraged to send donations and letters of support to: CUPE Local 2128 c/o Box 187, Biggar, SK S0K 0M0; email email@example.com. Or phone the local’s strike headquarters at 306-948-3860.