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KINGSTON, ON – School board workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will enter mediation talks with the Limestone District School Board in a final effort to reach an agreement before a January 20th, 2006, legal strike deadline.

We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement before the strike deadline,” said John Lepine, CUPE national representative. “The negotiating committees have been working diligently to address outstanding issues. The government’s appointed mediator will work with both parties to try and reach a settlement during mediation talks.”

Outstanding issues include job security, wages, benefits and working conditions. Mediation talks are scheduled for January 19th and 20th. The workers last contract expired on August 31, 2004.

The board has reached agreements with other employee groups,” said Lepine. “It is our goal to achieve an agreement without a work stoppage, but we are prepared to strike if necessary.” CUPE 1480 represents 860 members employed as educational assistants, secretarial, office and technical, maintenance and custodial, and other non-teaching positions.

For further information contact:

John Lepine
CUPE national representative
(613) 542-2069

James Chai
CUPE communications
(416) 292-3999