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Laura Walton, who heads CUPE’s school bargaining unit, said the amount the union recommends is a 2.1 per cent increase in education spending for the upcoming school year, and is the minimum needed. It is based on lessons learned from CUPE workers in other sectors who have continued working during the pandemic, she added.

“We know that we can do this safely, but the government doesn’t seem to be paying attention to it,” she told the Star.

While the government “has talked about touch-free hand sanitizers, that money hasn’t come in — during H1N1, there was money set aside for that. I was just at Starbucks … and Starbucks has Plexiglas for goodness sake. Why wouldn’t we have that?” she added.

“We can’t afford to get this wrong.”

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