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Winnipeg CUPE members who have been on strike for 19 days say that the River East School Division is responsible for prolonging parents problems by not getting back to the negotiations table.

If the School Division is concerned about parents frayed nerves, why havent they returned to discussions? CUPE staff representative Mark Kernaghan asked. A week ago today, talks were held because we initiated them. But those talks ended when the School Division left for their board meeting. Parents should be asking themselves why the School Division isnt doing more to negotiate an agreement and settle this strike.

Kernaghan said while the School Division is lamenting parents frayed nerves, their laid back attitude is prolonging the dispute with River Easts 52 school bus drivers, mechanics and a storeskeeper.

This isnt a teenage lovers spat where youre waiting to see who will phone first. Superintendent Carlyle said talks were good, Kernaghan said. But we cant bargain by ourselves. The School Division has to resume discussions so both parties can reach an agreement.

The CUPE employees say their work stoppage is not about wages but about jobs. They say without the present no contracting out language in their current contract, 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:
Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Staff representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 290


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