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(Port Hawkesbury) A second group of Nova Scotia school board workers has rejected a final contract offer from its employer and set a strike deadline.

Some 400 workers with the Strait Regional School Board, members of CUPE Local 955, have said no to an offer that did not included wage parity adjustments.

CUPE National Representative Terry Goulding says, The unresolved issue continues to be equal wages with other school board workers. These workers have sent a strong message to their employer and to education minister Jamie Muir that they are no longer prepared to work for dramatically different wages than their counterparts in other school boards across the province.

We will serve notice to the Strait Board tomorrow, April 11, which will put us in a legal strike position 14 days later. Unless were called back to the table, and the wage parity issue is addressed, Local 955 members will commence strike action Monday, April 25, says Goulding.

With 1,800 school board workers already on strike at the neighbouring Cape Breton-Victoria School Board, Goulding had a blunt message for the provinces education minister.

Jamie Muir needs to get his head out of the sand. The only way these two disputes are going to be resolved is if the province gets involved. They negotiate teachers wages provincially, school managers wages provincially CUPE school board workers are tired of being treated differently.

As the sole funder of school board wages in this province, Muir is being disingenuous in the extreme by claiming the province has no role to play, adds Goulding.

For information:

Terry Goulding, CUPE National Rep. - (902) 752-2244 (o) - (902) 396-7224 (Cell)

John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (o)