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(Halifax) A suggestion from Education Minister Jane Purves to look at standardized wage rates and benefits for school board officials has caught the ear of the union representing hundreds of school board workers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the ministers idea which was prompted by the controversy swirling around the salaries of high-ranking school board officials is something school board workers would benefit from greatly.

CUPE School Board Co-ordinator Terry Goulding says, Currently in this sector, we have wage rates that are all over the map. We have janitors in one school board making three to four dollars an hour less than their counterparts in other school boards.

Says Goulding, We have asked for a meeting with Minister Purves to address these wage inequities in the school board sector, and she hasnt even given us the courtesy of a reply.

The following are examples from school boards where CUPE is the bargaining agent:

  • Janitors at the Valley Regional School Board making $11.85 an hour, while janitors at the Cape Breton board are making $15.33. Janitors at the Strait Regional and Chignecto-Central School Boards are making $12.06 and $12.92 respectively
  • School bus drivers at three of the boards making $2.00 an hour less than at three other boards
  • Student Assistants in one board making as much as $10.00 more than at other boards

In the interests of fairness, CUPE says it has invited Minister Purves to the bargaining table to assist in negotiating standardized wages for school board workers, but she has not taken them up on the offer yet.

For information:
Terry Goulding, School Board Co-ordinator
(902) 752-2244 (o)
Roger Neeley, Atlantic Regional Director
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)