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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA Ninety CUPE members who work in schools and administrative offices as secretarial and library clerks for the River East School Division will soon be deciding whether to strike over their stalled contract negotiations.

After two negotiations meetings, we will be applying for a conciliation officer, said Local 1367 President Jeanette Kirby. Its obvious from the unilateral changes that our employer is already taking in our workplaces that they arent serious about negotiating a fair agreement with us.

Last week the union filed unfair labour practices charges after River East School Division arbitrarily made changes in the way positions are posted and filled disregarding employees seniority rights. The unions contract expired in June last year.

River East is changing the rules while were at the bargaining table, CUPE staff rep Steve Edwards said. We want them to address members concerns but instead of negotiating, theyre dictating.

Edwards said River East want significant changes in how employees are moved around in jobs changes the School Division didnt seek with other employee groups in negotiations.

Theyre singling out a group of women workers, thinking they can force them to accept these changes without having to negotiate the issues fairly, Edwards said. You would think theyd want to do things differently after their bargaining with bus drivers ended up in a six-week strike before Christmas. The union will be applying to Conciliation Services for the appointment of a conciliation officer today.

In Manitoba, CUPE represents 23,000 members who work in health care, education, municipalities, social services, utilities, libraries, and emergency services.


For more information, please contact:
Jeanette Kirby, President
CUPE Local 1367
Phone: (204) 667-5727

Steve Edwards, CUPE Staff Representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex 212 or (204) 771-2534 (Cell)