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Three CUPE locals at Edmonton Public Schools are resisting an attempt by their employer to “divide and conquer” members during coordinated bargaining.

For more than a year, Locals 474 (custodial), 784 (trades and maintenance) and 3550 (support staff) have held fast to a common bargaining strategy.

Each local has assigned representatives to sit at all three bargaining tables, and each has honoured an agreement not to ratify any new contract until all three locals have signed tentative agreements. A major test came September 23 when Local 3550 signed the first Memorandum of Agreement. Instead of ratifying the deal, more than 600 Local 3550 members voted to “table” it until similar settlements had been reached with the other locals.

A second Memorandum of Agreement was signed this week by Local 474. Before considering ratification, the local plans to proceed to a strike vote, as originally scheduled.

Thus, the pact between the three locals remains strong. The score so far? CUPE 3; the Employer 0.