School Staff Goes On Strike, Board Replaces Them All In One Day
A Canadian school was fully prepared with replacement staff up and working on the first day of a 250-worker strike.
The school district first notified parents of a potential strike Feb. 2, noting that it was open to negotiating with the union. In its latest press release, Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO) told the community its schools remain operational.
“We do not want a labor dispute. We wish to continue the negotiations and conclude an agreement for the benefit of staff members, students and parents,” said Francois Turpin, CSDCEO secretary and education director.
Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE Local 4155, the union representing the strike, said the school was trying to avoid the issues. “We see now why they refused to meet with us on Monday, the day before the strike began,” Giroux said. “They were more interested in hiring contractors to do our jobs, and in renting a bus to deliver their managers past the picket line.”
Clerks, school administrators, library technicians, maintenance employees, IT technicians and custodians make up CUPE’s membership.
Giroux was also concerned with the replacement workers. “Who’s been hired?” Giroux asked. “Have they had criminal records checks, as all our members have? Do they have the appropriate licenses for water flushing in the schools, as we do? Are they safe? We urge the board to get back to the table with us and resolve this, rather than spending money on contractors. We’re here, and we’re ready to bargain.”
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