97% of CUPE members at Buffalo Trail want better wages, seniority provisions
WAINWRIGHT Employees at the Buffalo Trail Public Schools have overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from the school board that they say weakens seniority and raises wages by less than the cost of living. The employees, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1606, voted 97% to reject the deal.
Local President Margaret Templeton said that with the high cost of living, the school division employees couldnt afford to accept the employers last offer.
“We feel that the wage increases are inadequate,” said Templeton. “The employers offer doesnt even approach the cost of living over the past couple of years.”
Templeton was critical of the school division for attempting to weaken job security and seniority provisions of the contract.
“The school division wants to weaken layoff and recall provisions of the contract,” said Templeton. “We see the potential problems with this agreement and its impact on us.”
Templeton said the unions next move is to attempt to get back to the bargaining table. “We have contacted the school division to set up other dates for bargaining. Hopefully, the size of our rejection vote will let our employer know how serious we are.”