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November 29, 2013

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CUPE Local 748 education workers rally in Nelson

For the second day in a row, education workers in the Kootenay Lake School District rallied for a fair and reasonable contract. Workers rallied yesterday in Creston, where education assistants, tradespersons, bus drivers, custodians, along with teachers, parents and community allies gathered to show CUPE solidarity in School District 8.

Today, nearly 100 education workers in Nelson demonstrated to send a message to trustees that without a fair deal, a region-wide disruption to classes is inevitable.

School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) has not yet adopted a budget plan for the provincially-negotiated deal, threatening to send Kootenay Lakes schools into an avoidable strike. Elsewhere in BC, more than 40 school districts have reached settlements with CUPE locals.

Today’s speakers included:

  • Bargaining Committee Chair Mike Kootnikoff
  • MLA for Nelson-Creston Michelle Mungall
  • CUPE Kootenay District Council President Gerry Schmon
  • Nelson District Teachers’ Association President Paul Broscario
  • CUPE K-12 Coordinator Bill Pegler

Mungall emphasized that the BC Liberal government has done a poor job of supporting public schools in the region. She put the blame for the trustees’ difficult budget decisions squarely at the feet of the provincial government.

Pegler agreed with Mungall, saying “The way forward is to sign a deal with CUPE workers as quickly as possible and form a united front to put pressure on the government to make education a priority.”

Local 748 members voted 100% to reaffirm their strike mandate on Saturday, November 23.

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