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+Wadena, SK: School support workers in the Wadena School Division are inviting the public to join them for lunch on the picket line tomorrow, when they resume job action outside the Wadena School Division Board office.

It will be the fifth time CUPE education workers have spent the school day on a picket line, since rotating job action began on April 9.

The job action coincides with the resumption of contract talks tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with a provincial conciliator.

The strike affects schools in Kelvington, Rose Valley, Quill Lake, Archerwill, Wadena, Lintlaw and the Lakeside Hutterite Colony.

The 80 education workers, members of CUPE local 3078, have organized The Dine on the Line for $1.99 to acknowledge the tremendous public support they have received from parents and residents in the school division. The public is invited to join them for a hamburger between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

I dont think any of us expected to receive so much public support on the picket line, says local union president Donna Zarowny. It is really appreciated.

Ms. Zarowny says she hopes public pressure and the rotating job action succeeds in forcing the board to drop its demands for concessions, when bargaining resumes tomorrow evening.

We have had 24 bargaining meetings over the last two years, but every time the board has continued to insist on reduced seniority benefits and job security protection. We are hoping that tomorrow will not only see a new day, but a new attitude from the employer, says the local president.

The 80 support workers 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 or on Wednesday at 539-8597.