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(Vancouver) The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents more than 23,000 workers in the BC school system, has vowed to back teachers in their struggle for free collective bargaining rights.

As support staff workers in the schools, our members work as a team with teachers to ensure the best possible education for our children, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said.

Our members know from firsthand observation that teachers deserve every penny of the wage increase they are demanding.

The punitive essential services law being imposed by the Liberal government strikes at the heart and strength of our education system. It hurts teachers, and we fear it will soon be used against CUPE members who clean schools, do grounds maintenance, and work in school offices, ONeill said.

Teachers have made a clear statement with their strong strike vote announced today. Its time now for Premier Gordon Campbell and Education Minister Christy Clark to stop trying to destroy our schools and our childrens future.

CUPE members stand in solidarity with teachers in their demands for fair wages and working conditions, ONeill concluded. Today, we need vision, not division, in our education system.


Media, please contact Barry ONeill, CUPE BC president at 604-916-8444.