Durham Public School Board workers deliver strong strike mandate - Sid Ryan to lead solidarity rally Monday

    OSHAWA, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - Durham Public School Board workers gave
their negotiating committee a strong strike mandate today, voting 93 per cent
in favour of strike action if a fair deal cannot be reached. The workers, who
are fighting for more time to do their jobs and other issues including wages,
benefits and job postings, will be joined by CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan
for a solidarity rally at 5:00 pm, on Monday, March 19, at the Durham District
School Board, 400 Taunton Road, in Whitby.
    "This school board has been dragging its feet, and refusing to deal with
our issues," said Don Bryans, president of CUPE 218. "We are tired of being
taken for granted and are prepared to strike. It's time for management to come
back to the table to resolve the outstanding issues and prevent a strike that
will hurt students." The workers will be in a legal strike position at
12:01 am, on March 21.
    Monday's rally will raise awareness of an impending strike by 2,100
educational assistants (EAs), custodial and maintenance workers, office,
clerical and technical staff. Population growth in the Durham region and
underfunding by the provincial government have increased workloads, leading to
workers staying late, skipping breaks, working during lunch and taking work
home, all without pay.

    Who?    Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President
            Durham Public School Board workers and supporters

    What?   Solidarity rally for CUPE 218 members

    When?   Monday, March 19, at 5:00 pm

    Where?  Durham District School Board,
            400 Taunton Road, Whitby

    Mediation talks with the employer broke off on Friday, March 9. CUPE 218
offered to meet with management during March break to reach a settlement but
the school board refused, saying they were not available. No further talks
have been scheduled. "We are ready to resume talks to reach a negotiated
settlement before the legal strike deadline," said Bryans. "Where's

For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario, President, (416)
209-0066 (cell); Don Bryans, President, CUPE 218, (905) 571-7879; Joanne
Wilson, CUPE National Representative, (289) 404-0797; James Chai, CUPE
Communications, (416) 292-3999, (416) 458-3983 (cell)

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