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Winnipeg CUPE members who have been on strike for more than a month say River East School Divisions rejection of the latest union proposal shows little concern for parents or workers.

This is our third proposal and it was again rejected without any counter proposal from the School Division, CUPE staff representative Mark Kernaghan said. We want to resolve this. I know the parents do. But the School Division doesnt seem to care or be in any hurry to meet and work with us on a solution.

Kernaghan said the proposal was CUPEs latest attempt to address the employers needs and get the school bus drivers back on the road. He said the School Division didnt discuss the proposal with the union and that he found out it was rejected when a reporter called for a comment.

We dont even know what theyre objecting to at this stage, Kernaghan said about River Easts latest rejection. They say they dont want to bargain in the media but they talk to reporters more than they talk with us.

We know parents are as frustrated as we are. Some of them have even been turning over the money that River East is giving them to the strikers. Perhaps its easier for the School Division decision-makers to distance themselves because they dont have kids going without buses and they arent worried about their work being contracted out, he said.

The CUPE employees, who say their work stoppage is about jobs and not wages, have been on the picket line since November 10th. They are fighting to keep no contracting out language in their current collective agreement.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than 485,000 women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 23,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, please contact:
Mark Kernaghan, CUPE Temporary Staff Representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 290