Strike vote at the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'est ontarien - CUPE 4155

    L'ORIGNAL, ON, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - School board workers with the
Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'est ontarien, members of the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 4155), have voted 99 per cent in
favour of a strike if a deal cannot be reached with their employer.
    "The school board broke off talks and called on the ministry of labour
conciliator without even telling the union," said Lise Lafleur, president of
CUPE 4155. "It shows to what point their lack of respect for the workers has
poisoned negotiations. They refuse to make an equitable offer to frontline
staff, but they gave the director of education an increase of close to 50 per
cent - it's unbelievable."
    The workers' last contract expired August 31, 2006. CUPE 4155 represents
219 full-time employees, 97 part-time et roughly 33 temporary and casual
employees who work in 50 elementary and secondary schools, and school board
buildings, as secretaries, clerks, custodial staff, monitors, printers, IT and
library technicians.
    The main points of contention are wages, fair treatment of monitors,
benefits, staffing formula for custodians, layoff provisions, travel costs,
and the job evaluation plan. "Our members are frustrated by the board's lack
of respect for custodial and maintenance staff, excessive workloads that lead
to more workplace accidents, a lack of recognition for work, and high levels
of stress," said Joanne Harvey, CUPE national representative. "The
administration needs to show some respect and return to the bargaining table
with a fair offer to prevent a strike and protect school services."
    A strike would affect schools in the following communities: East and
Southeast of Ottawa all the way to the Quebec border, including the towns and
municipalities of Rockland, Limoges, Embrun, Hammond, Wendover, Plantagenet,
Casselman, St Eugène, L'Orignal, St Pascal de Babylon, Hawkesbury, Vankleek
Hill, Alexandria, Curran, Moose Creek, Cornwall, Long Sault, Maxville, and
North Lancaster.
    "Thanks to our members' professionalism and hard work, the schools are
clean and remain safe environments for students, even as the board is cutting
the workforce," said Lafleur. "We are asking parents to contact school board
trustees to demand they return to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer
that respects the work and dedication of school board workers, in order to
prevent a strike."

For further information:

For further information: Lise Lafleur, CUPE 4155 president, cell: (613)
806-2401, work: (613) 538-2401; Joanne Harvey, CUPE National Representative,
(613) 933-5515; Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999

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