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November 14, 1999, Surrey - CUPE Local 728 will be taking strike action Tuesday, November 16, at 3:00pm in the afternoon, at Queen Elizabeth High School on the King George Highway. All evening programs will be shut down.

Pickets will go up at 3:00pm with the high school being shut down for the evening classes only. No day programs affecting children will be shut down.

CUPE is upset by the slow progress in talks with the Surrey School District. The Union has been in negotiations with the School Board for almost a year.

Susan Zander, president of CUPE Local 728 said, “This School Board will not negotiate in a reasonable manner, they prefer to drag out talks and have a third party intervene.” The last round of negotiations in 1996 saw a legislated settlement after the School District turned down proposals for settlement from Mediators Brian Foley and Vince Ready.

“This Board would rather litigate than negotiate” says Zander, “they have spent 850 thousand dollars in the courts with the banning of books and thousands of dollars in arbitrations with CUPE and the Surrey Teachers Association. They are impossible to deal with.”

CUPE negotiator, Bill Harper, says “The members are fed up with the tactics of the School Board, and we have a clear mandate from the members to strike if the Board does not address the issues of the union. For the sake of the children and parents of the district we hope it does not come to that.”

There will not be any strike action this week that will affect the regular education of children. With School Board elections occurring on Saturday, November 20, the Union is hoping that the new trustees will take a fresh look at the situation.

Information: Bill Harper or Susan Zander, President CUPE Local 728 (604)576-2873