TIMMINS, ON – A 95% supermajority of frontline education workers at Northeastern Catholic District School Board have signed an open letter to their school board trustees that was published as a full-page advertisement in today’s issues of the Cochrane Times-Post, Iroquois Falls Enterprise, Kirkland Lake Northern News This Week, and Timmins Times.
The workers’ letter reads, in part:
“It’s been more than seven weeks since Northeastern Catholic negotiators last met with our bargaining committee on March 8. We requested conciliation on March 10 and a conciliator was assigned by the Ministry of Labour on March 24.
“Because we don’t yet have a local agreement, the lowest-paid education workers have still not received the $1 per hour wage increase we already secured in our central negotiations last fall.”
“It’s time for the Northeastern Catholic District School Board to do the right thing,” said Susan Cyr, educational assistant and CUPE Local 4681 president.
“As trustees, you have the power to direct your negotiators to reach a good agreement with education workers right now by accepting our bargaining committee’s reasonable and necessary proposals for student success and good jobs,” observed Cyr.
“Education workers are united, and we urge trustees to avert the first local strike by frontline education workers anywhere in Ontario this year,” Cyr concluded.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4681 frontline education workers are the 160 educational assistants, custodians, caretakers, school secretaries, IT technicians, maintenance staff, and an accounts receivable/payable clerk who provide education services at 12 elementary schools, one high school, an adult continuing education centre, and the school board office.
The workers’ three main proposals for student success and good jobs that are still on the table are:
1. Stopping contracting out and hiring three more full-time IT workers
This will save money, mean better service for students, and better jobs for our community.
2. Equity for education workers in Moosonee
Retaining workers in this fly-in community is crucial to have continuity for children and enough staff to provide the services parents expect in public schools.
3. Allowing workers to use the vacation time they’ve earned
Approval of taking one more day off, instead of just two, will help workers to spend time with their own families.