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May 22, 2000, VernonNegotiators for School District 22, Vernon Schools, are using retaliatory tactics against noon-hour supervisors and bus monitorsCUPE school support staff who work between 45 minutes and an hour a day ensuring that students are kept safe during lunch hours and on buseswho have been bargaining for use of accumulated seniority when applying for other positions.

Reacting to news that 72 supervisors and monitors received lay-off notices in Vernon today, Barry ONeill CUPE BC President said, “Vernon trustees should be ashamed for allowing this administrator to use strong-arm tactics on people who are trying to find a way to move into a better job.”

In addition, ONeill suggests that Dave Greenan, the districts secretary-treasurer and the entire school board have some explaining to do about their published statement suggesting the district has been using less stringent recruitment and screening standards for noon-hour supervisors and bus monitors than other district staff.

“If Dave Greenans comments are accurate I would suggest that this boards practice of varying the standards and safety screening is frighteningly serious. Why on earth should anyone dealing with a communitys children be subject to less than rigorous standards? We should be questioning those who did the hiring and the screening not the people now doing the work, whoby the districts own admissionare doing an excellent job.”

CUPE has been trying to negotiate seniority for noon-hour supervisors and bus monitors among others, as a matter of provincial policy. The two commissioners appointed by government have recognized the rights of part-time workers to attain seniority for better jobs. The IIC has indeed said that part-time workers should have the rights this local was seeking. Now District 22 is balking by deciding to punish workers and lay them off.

“This issue was dealt with by the Industrial Inquiry Commission,” said ONeill. “I would suggest that Mr. Greenans comments and actions at this time demonstrate the lack of respect he holds for collective bargaining in all its forms, including the IIC. It most certainly shows disrespect for the CUPE members who work in the jobs with the least amount of security despite their responsibility for safety during noon-hours and on school buses.”

Barry ONeill will be in Vernon on Tuesday addressing CUPE members, including the noon-hour supervisors and bus monitors who received lay off notices yesterday (May 18).

“Vernon and a few other school boards continue to want to run roughshod over K-12 support staff. Fortunately, they are in the minority. In any case CUPEs redress for these employers actions must include rescinding lay offs.”

Louise Leclair, communications representative,
(604) 291-1940 or cell (604) 454-4711