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Yorkton, Sask. - School support workers at the Yorkton Regional High School are prepared to take job action, if that’s what it takes to persuade the school division board to pay them the same wages as elementary school workers.

The 35 education workers at the high school, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2520, are paid considerably less than elementary school workers, even though they share the same job duties, work for the same employer and live in the same city.

At a membership meeting yesterday, the CUPE high school workers massively rejected the employer’s wage offer of two per cent in each of two years.

They also voted 86 per cent in support of taking job action to achieve their goal of wage parity with elementary school workers.

It’s an issue of fairness,” says CUPE Local 2520 President Cathy Wilson. “Although it costs just as much for us to feed and clothe our families, we earn as much as two dollars less an hour than elementary school workers. That can’t continue.”

CUPE staff representative Bill Cronin says the school division board has not been taking contract negotiations seriously. “It’s rare to see all of the employer’s bargaining team at the table. Hopefully, the strike mandate will serve as a wake-up call to the employer.”

The CUPE Local President says the union wants to get back to the table and negotiate a fair settlement, thereby averting the need for a strike.

Their current contract expired December 31, 2004.

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For more information contact:

Cathy Wilson at 786-5560 or CUPE staff representative Bill Cronin at 529-7680.