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TORONTO, Ont. — CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan will join members of CUPE 1176 at an emergency meeting tomorrow morning (Saturday, August 18) in response to the Bluewater District School Board’s drive toward a lockout or strike just in time for students’ return to school.

Recently, the board issued layoff notices to 62 custodial and maintenance staff who are currently in negotiations for a new collective agreement. Then, on Tuesday, August 14, board negotiators requested a “no board” report from the provincial conciliator, setting the stage for a legal lockout or strike at 12:01 a.m., September 4 — the day school begins.

“Clearly the new money announced earlier this week by Premier Dalton McGuinty is not enough to fix the damage caused by a badly flawed funding formula,” Ryan said.  “Even though the announcement included $20 million for school maintenance, we have had no indication from the Bluewater board that they intend to rescind the layoff notices.  They’re going ahead to try and find $1.2 million in savings off the backs of their custodial and maintenance staff.”

Besides the layoffs, the board is seeking contract concessions, including a freeze on the pay rate for casual workers, said CUPE National Representative Jim Keenan.  CUPE 1176 represents 190 full- and part-time custodial and maintenance workers along with almost 50 casuals.

The emergency meeting takes place at 10 a.m. at Derby Public School in Kilsythe.
Sid Ryan will be available to meet with media at 9:45 a.m.


For more information, contact:

Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Jim Keenan, CUPE National Representative, 705-790-0056 (cell)
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142 (cell)