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Winnipeg The River East School Division continues to reject CUPEs proposals to end the strike by its 52 bus drivers, mechanics and a storeskeeper which began a week ago.

The ball is in their court. Weve made proposals through conciliation to address the School Divisions concerns but they are repeatedly rejected without any discussion, said Rik Panciera, CUPE staff representative.

The CUPE Local 796 members, who have been on strike since November 10th, say that while theyve been attempting to resolve the issue and get back on the road, the School Division is doing nothing.

Its the School Division who are upsetting students and parents by needlessly prolonging this strike, Panciera said. We keep trying to negotiate but how can we get a settlement when the School Division refuses to even talk about the issue seriously.

The CUPE employees say without the present no contracting out language in their current collective agreement, it would be impossible to hold the School Division to its promises not to contract out their work.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than 485,000 women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 23,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, please contact:

Rik Panciera
, Staff representative
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 217

DM/pr/opeiu 491