Workers should not pay for lack of funding, CEP president tells school board strikers

EDMONTON, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - "The Edmonton Catholic School Board is trying to solve its lack of funding on the backs of low paid, mostly women support workers. That is wrong and it won't resolve the problem," said the national president of the union representing striking school board workers said today.

Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, joined the more than 900 workers on strike against the Edmonton Catholic School Board on the picket line praising their strong show of solidarity.  "It is important that you continue to maintain a strong and unified voice," he said.  "We cannot allow employers to treat school workers so poorly, especially when you are on the front lines of caring for our most valuable resource: Our children."

Members of CEP Local 52-A went on strike Sept. 10th after their employer refused to address the union's concerns about wages in the second year of the contract, reduction of hours, and other issues.

"It is time to put a stop to the low wages, job erosion and devaluing of your contributions to the lives of the students," Coles said.  "I am calling on Premier Redford's government to help resolve this dispute by ensuring that Board has adequate funding."

The more than 900 secretaries, librarians and assistants for students with special needs have been without a contract since last fall. Local 52-A rejected the board's latest contract offer Monday night.

The union seeking a 1.5 per cent pay raise in the second year of the contract. Instead the board offered a one-time payout.

"We join with concerned parents and others in the community who are calling on the school board to get back to the bargaining table with a decent offer so our members can continue to help provide the quality education they have in the past," concluded Coles.

CEP is the largest union is several key sectors of the Canadian economy, including forestry, energy, telecommunications and media.

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles (613) 299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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