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WINNIPEG Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Paraprofessionals in the Louis Riel School Division voted last week to have the Canadian Union of Public Employees represent them. All other support workers in the Division belong to CUPE.

The representation vote took place as a result of the merger of St. Vital and St. Boniface School Divisions in 2002. CUPE represented the TAs in the former Division, with the St. Boniface Paraprofessional Association representing those working in the latter Division.

According to Carol Fraser, President of CUPE Local 3473, Were looking forward to working with the new members of CUPE and making sure that we get the best possible benefits and services for everyone.

The Union and the Association were both committed to our members, even though we had our different ways of doing things. Now we have a chance to create bigger and stronger representation, and Im confident that we will be able to do it.

In February, Teaching Assistants in Pembina Trails School Division (created from the former Assiniboine South and Fort Garry Divisions) chose CUPE to represent them in a similar vote. And last November, TAs, clerical staff, custodians and bus drivers in Park West School Division (created from the former Pelly Trail and Birdtail River School Divisions) voted to have CUPE represent them.

Teaching Assistants provide support for special needs students in each of the School Divisions.