Education support staff in Prairie South School Division vote to strike
A vacant teachers desk is pictured at the front of a empty classroom is pictured at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver on Sept. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Published Friday, July 5, 2019 10:42AM CST
Education support staff at the Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw have voted in favour of a strike.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Friday that the local union voted 95.7 per cent in favour of job action.
“The employer is coming after a long-standing retirement benefit, pushing a wage freeze in the first two years of the agreement, and trying to divide us by offering deals that hurt some of us more than others,” Dave Stevenson, CUPE national representative, said in a news release. “The message we heard from our membership was loud and clear. We are standing united against these concessions and miniscule wage offers. We deserve and demand more respect than the employer has been showing us.”
According to the union, the school division is trying to eliminate a Long Service Recognition Benefit.
“We’ve negotiated this important benefit into our contract, and taking it away would negatively impact about 142 of our members immediately. Everyone else who retires from now on after at least 14 years of service will be affected by this cut too,” said Stevenson. “The school division is also pushing a wage offer well below increases to the cost of living.”
There are no current plans for job action, the union says. The bargaining committee will take the school division’s latest offer to a membership vote in September. The bargaining committee is recommending that its members vote against the offer, according to the union.
CTV News has contacted the Prairie South School Division for comment.