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Members of Local 3206 at the Lakeshore School Division started walking picket lines on Tuesday, tired of receiving far lower wages than people doing the same jobs in neighbouring school divisions.

“In some instances, we’re underpaid by as much as $4.03 an hour when compared to people in the very same area,” said local president Roberta Stocki.

“It’s hard to take your employer looking at you and telling you you’re just not worth what others are making. We’ve had enough.”

There are 104 members of Local 3206 working as bus drivers, custodial and maintenance workers, secretaries, librarians, mechanics and teachers’ assistants. The employer offered increases below the rate of inflation for the next three years. And the board has refused to make a commitment to equal wages at a future date.

“Our position is reasonable. We’re not even asking for immediate equality with neighbouring school divisions, just a step in the right direction,” said Sister Stocki.

“We have a strong mandate from our members and the first days on the picket line are going well.” Members of Local 3206 work in the Interlake region of Manitoba, located north of Winnipeg.