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Wadena: School support workers in the Wadena School Division remain on the picket line today after last nights conciliation talks failed to produce a settlement.

Conciliation talks began at 6:30 p.m. yesterday and adjourned about four hours later, after the employers negotiating committee requested a week to review the unions latest contract proposal.

We had hoped the employer would make contract negotiations its top priority, says staff representative Sharon Lockwood, but that hasnt happened. Instead our members are spending their sixth school day on a picket line.

The 80 education workers in the Wadena School Division began rotating job action on April 9. The strike affects schools in Kelvington, Rose Valley, Quill Lake, Archerwill, Wadena, Lintlaw and the Lakeside Hutterite Colony.

The support workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, are employed as teacher assistants, secretaries, caretakers, library assistants and other positions in the school division. Their collective agreement expired on December 31, 2000.

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For more information contact:
CUPE Communications Rep Beth Smillie at 525-5874, extension 229.