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WATERLOO, ON – Waterloo Catholic District School Board workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will enter conciliation talks with management on Thursday, October 5th, in an effort to avert a strike or lockout.

The board wants to download additional duties to workers, without allowing additional time to do their work,” said Linda Thurston-Neeley, CUPE national representative. “Adding more responsibilities to workers who are already facing a heavy workload doesn’t make any sense – the Ministry of Education and the school board must look at how to improve the quality of education for students.”

CUPE Local 2512 represents over 600 support staff, including education assistants (EAs), child and youth care workers, secretaries, librarians and technicians. The board wants to download the supervision of students to EAs and other support staff who on average only have 5.5 hours a day to perform their regular duties. Other outstanding bargaining issues include hours of work, wages and management concession demands. The workers’ contract expired on August 31, 2005.

Our members are not happy with the double standard practiced by this board of trustees,” said Thurston-Neeley. “While the board cuts front-line staff and tries to download additional duties, the trustees recently voted to double their own income – parents should be outraged.” CUPE will be holding a special membership meeting on Tuesday, October 3rd, to inform members of the latest developments and begin preparations for a possible strike or lockout.

For further information, please contact:

Linda Thurston-Neeley
CUPE National Representative

James Chai
CUPE Communications