Talks break off with CUPE and Bluewater school board - Legal strike commences first day back to school



    OWEN SOUND, ON, Sept. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - About 240 custodial and
maintenance staff are ready to strike on September 4 after talks broke off
between their union, CUPE 1176 and the Bluewater District School Board.
    "This is about fighting layoffs that will affect as many as 50 or 60
people," said local president Don McAngus. "The board has decided that the
best way to avoid a deficit is to get rid of 22 and a half full-time
equivalent jobs."
    The province's flawed education funding formula has created some of the
problem, but the school board should run a deficit while seeking funding
improvements, McAngus said.
    "The Bluewater District School Board should not be trying to solve its
funding problem on the backs of the people who keep our schools clean and
safe," he said. "It's unfortunate that the school year has to start this way,
but our members are not going to stand idly by while their hours and even
their jobs are decimated. We want no part of a plan that will mean dirtier,
crumbling schools for children in Grey and Bruce."
    The union will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday,
September 4. Information pickets will be set up at every school with a special
picket at Chesley High School. While no new talks between CUPE and the school
board are scheduled, McAngus said the union is ready to meet at any time
before Tuesday to negotiate a fair collective agreement and avert a strike.




For further information:

For further information: Don McAngus, President, CUPE 1176, (519)
353-5195 (home), (519) 378-9503 (cell); Jim Keenan, CUPE National
Representative, (705) 790-0056 (cell); Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, (416)
616-6142 (cell)

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