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February 22, 2000, VernonThe 400 members of CUPE local 5523 will vote next Monday, February 28 on giving their bargaining committee a mandate to strike should that action become necessary in order to bring the current round of school support staff bargaining to an end.

“Support staff in this local are upset with the lack of progress in these talks.” said John Hegler, President of CUPE, local 5523. “When those who are extremely well-paid to manage the schools in our community sit across the table from us and tell us they wont discuss any issues that have financial implications, you have to wonder what they are even there for.”

Hegler indicated that senior management in the Vernon School Board are not so reluctant to ensure that increases for their already healthy salaries are resolved outside of the wage guidelines.

“The high-priced help always seem to be able to justify rich increases for themselves, but when it comes to resolving serious problems of inequity with people who are on the front lines and delivering the services to students and parents no one wants to talk about money.”

Gary Johnson, CUPE national servicing representative said, “Like other locals involved in the CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining Committee (SBC), many of whom have already taken strike votes, Vernon school workers are fed up with the process and fed up with taking the brunt of cuts to services they provide within the school system. Collectively, its time for employers to put serious job and service security on the table.”

John Hegler, President, CUPE local 5523
(250) 308-8360
Gary Johnson, CUPE National Representative
(604) 219-3703

Regular information updates regarding CUPE K-12 Sectoral Bargaining can be found at www.cupe.bc.ca/sbc

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