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WINNIPEG – Support workers in the Sunrise School Division (formerly Agassiz School Division) have rejected the employer’s last offer in contract negotiations. They will meet this weekend to plan strike action.

The Union had been in conciliation to find a resolution to the negotiations that started two months ago. “We just reached an impasse – there was no movement on the employer’s offer and the members just couldn’t accept what was offered,” said Jackie Hampshire, President of CUPE Local 1618.

Issues that have not been resolved are largely monetary. The amalgamation has put together workers who are doing similar work, but receive very different salaries. While the employer has agreed to some wage increases, these do not help equalize salaries across the Division.

The members are also intent on moving from their current pension plan to a defined benefit plan similar to what teachers have.

“The division recognizes they have to bring up wages but they didn’t come close to what is needed for real parity. We’re still about 12% apart on our wage increases,” said Hampshire.

The 200 members of CUPE Local 1618 voted last week to strike if contract negotiations could not resolve major issues facing them due to the amalgamations.

The members who provide custodial, maintenance, bus and teaching assistance support to the School Division have been without a contract since December 2002.

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For information, contact:
Jackie Hampshire, President of CUPE Local 1618 –
Phone: (204) 345-8665
Steve Edwards, National Representative –
Phone: 942-0343, ext. 212