Catholic school support staff set to strike Monday
Published Thursday, September 6, 2012 1:40PM MDT
Edmonton Catholic Schools support staff are in the position to legally strike – after they rejected the school board’s latest contract offer.
The workers cast their votes on the matter Wednesday night.
The majority of workers voted against the latest contract, which was offered to them over the summer.
Officials with the union, CEP Local 52-A, said the issue is workload for secretaries and wages for special needs assistants.
“Every time we seem to get a wage increase, they get an FTE reduction, which means that their hours are reduced,” CEP National Rep. Rick Klimchuk said.
The union said Thursday the workers will hit the picket lines on Monday morning, if no agreement is reached.
Edmonton Catholic schools confirmed they had received strike notice Thursday.
“[We] have a contingency plan and we would try to minimize any impact we can to the classroom,” Edmonton Catholic School board spokesperson Lori Nagy said.
Now that the threat of a strike looms – the board is taking another look at their offer.
A union representative said the board presented another offer in a last-ditch effort to avoid the job action.
“What they did is a slight modification to the offer that was rejected last night,” Klimchuk said. “It was not significant enough for us to take back to the members to vote on.”
The union said they are willing to talk in the meantime.
The Labour Relations Board could get involved – the school board has filed an application for a supervised proposal vote, which would force the staff to vote on the contract again with the supervision of the Labour Board.
The strike would mean 916 library staff, teacher’s assistants, secretaries and clerical staff would walk off the job.
With files from Amanda Anderson