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London, Ont. – Striking Thames Valley District School Board workers received over $120,000 in donations and pledges when they attended the CUPE Ontario convention in Ottawa over the weekend.

The donations and pledges we received from CUPE locals, CUPE National and CUPE Ontario, are a reminder that we do not stand alone,” said Helena McConkey, spokesperson for CUPE 4222, Unit C. “This is in addition to the ongoing support we receive from our national union for strike pay and other assistance – it really helps us knowing we can sustain our strike with dignity, until we achieve our goals on behalf of the students we serve.”

Delegates from other school board locals attending convention told us they face the same issue in their schools, and it’s time for school boards to stop fighting frontline workers and demand the Ministry of Education provide the necessary funding to support our services,” said McConkey. “Otherwise school board workers from our sister locals will soon be joining us on the picket lines, demanding adequate time to work with students.”

The EAs and IAs have been on strike since May 11th, fighting for additional time to complete their work with special needs students. “We are still on the picket line, while the school board lets unqualified scabs attempt to do our work and students are suffering,” said McConkey. “It’s time for the school board to stop dithering and make a serious move to end this strike.”

The school board has squandered budget surpluses without investing in frontline services for students,” said Jennifer Kaufman, CUPE national representative. “The trustees and the board knew about this issue three years ago but chose not to address the real needs of students – it’s time for the board to listen to the workers and parents, and end this strike.”

For further information, please contact:
Helena McConkey, Spokesperson CUPE 4222, Unit C - 519-318-9754 cell
Jennifer Kaufmann, CUPE National Rep - 519-433-1753 - 519-852-2803 cell
James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999