CUPE Local 748 education workers rally in Nelson

November 29, 2013      http://cupe.bc.ca

For the second day in a row, education workers in the Kootenay Lake School District rallied for a fair and reasonable contract. Workers rallied yesterday in Creston, where education assistants, tradespersons, bus drivers, custodians, along with teachers, parents and community allies gathered to show CUPE solidarity in School District 8.

Today, nearly 100 education workers in Nelson demonstrated to send a message to trustees that without a fair deal, a region-wide disruption to classes is inevitable.

School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) has not yet adopted a budget plan for the provincially-negotiated deal, threatening to send Kootenay Lakes schools into an avoidable strike. Elsewhere in BC, more than 40 school districts have reached settlements with CUPE locals.

Today’s speakers included:

  • Bargaining Committee Chair Mike Kootnikoff
  • MLA for Nelson-Creston Michelle Mungall
  • CUPE Kootenay District Council President Gerry Shmon
  • Nelson District Teachers’ Association President Paul Broscario
  • CUPE K-12 Coordinator Bill Pegler
  • West Kootenay Labour Council President Gerry Shmon

Mungall emphasized that the BC Liberal government has done a poor job of supporting public schools in the region. She put the blame for the trustees’ difficult budget decisions squarely at the feet of the provincial government.

Pegler agreed with Mungall, saying “The way forward is to sign a deal with CUPE workers as quickly as possible and form a united front to put pressure on the government to make education a priority.”

Local 748 members voted 100% to reaffirm their strike mandate on Saturday, November 23.

Bill Pegler (centre) Cupe BC K-12 Bargaining Committe; Gerry Shmon (right) President KDC & WKLC, Cupe Local 748 memberCupe 748 members rallying for public support in contract talks with School District #8-Kootenay Lakes SchoolsPaul Boscariol President of  Nelson District Teachers' Association showing support for Kootenay Lake Schools education workersStephanie Smith (left) COPE 378 President-FortisBC; Gerry Shmon (centre) Cupe 748 member and President of KDC & WKLC; Sean Smiith (right) USW 480 members & WKLC ExecutiveCupe Local 748 members rallying for public support in contract talks with Kootenay Lakes SchoolsCupe 748 members talking it up at rally for public support in contract talks with Kootenay Lakes SchoolsMichelle Mungall (left) MLA Nelson-Creston; Rick Korens (right) Cupe 748 members supporting rally for public support in contract talk with Kootenay Lakes School Board

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