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Winnipeg Collective bargaining between Pembina Trails School Division and CUPE support workers broke down last night. The Union says government conciliation is necessary.

According to Steve Edwards, CUPE Representative, Were up against a stone wall. The Trustees we are negotiating with are not willing to look at the issues we think are important. They are not interested in considering any alternatives or options.

CUPE Local 1112 represents 215 workers who are teaching, computer laboratory and science laboratory assistants, and library technicians.

The Union wants to look into the future and set up ways we can meet the needs of the members and the Division. We are not just trying to get more wages, there are other issues that are important to us, said Edwards.

Issues that the Union wants to negotiate include: working the full school year, changes to the pension plan, providing professional development time, harmonizing vacations and wages for Computer Lab Assistants, and a dental plan.

Basically the Division administration wants to cut back our benefits while their salaries are going up, he added.

A request has gone to the Department of Labour to designate a Conciliator. If conciliation fails, the Union will consider other options such as strike action.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social services, childcare centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services. About 3,800 of these members work in Manitoba school divisions.

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For more information, contact:
Edna Johnson, Chair of CUPE Local 1112 Negotiations Committee: 275-8959
Steve Edwards, CUPE National Representative: 942-0343, ext. 212
Dennis Lewycky, CUPE Communications Representative: (204) 223-6805