CUPE members from across the country are being encouraged to show their support for striking members in Biggar, Saskatchewan.
The strike by support workers in the Biggar Public School Division is entering its sixth month but morale on the picket line remains strong.
“We’re still staying strong and realize we have to do fun things,” says Bea Devenny, a teaching assistant and member of CUPE Local 2128.
The union recently assembled a float for the annual town parade in Biggar. The float attracted cheers from several spectators – and more children than the school division float.
The CUPE members also held a year-end potluck supper and golf tournament and had a beach day on the picket line, complete with an inflatable pool, water pistols and Beach Boys tunes.
Meanwhile, the division board is still demanding major contract concessions in the areas of seniority rights and job security. No new negotiation dates have been scheduled.
“If this was a monetary issue, this strike would have been over a long time ago,” says Devenny, who points out that the workers have now lost 50 per cent of their annual salary.
“We don’t want to be out here, but we have no choice. We’re going to fight the good fight. We’re going to win this.”
Contributions to the local’s strike fund can be sent to:
CUPE Local 2128,
c/o Box 187,
Locals are encouraged to give generously.