CUPE workers reject school board’s last offer; strike will begin tomorrow

CCRSB News - January 26, 2014 – The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) has received word that members of CUPE – bus drivers, tradespeople and custodians – have voted to reject the school board’s last offer. As a result, CUPE members will begin a strike action tomorrow, Monday, January 27.

“I am saddened to say that CUPE has rejected our last offer. That means that 450 of our employees will be on the street tomorrow, instead of in our schools and offices and driving our buses,” said Trudy Thompson, CCRSB Board Chair. “Our contingency plan has now been activated.”

As a result of the impending strike, the following changes are being put in place across the school board:

  • All busing within the school board will stop.
  • All building maintenance will be performed on an emergency basis only.
  • Schools will be open only 60 minutes ahead of the start of the school day and only 60 minutes after the final bell.
  • All extracurricular activities are cancelled. Schools and offices will no longer be available for use for non-school groups after hours.

CUPE’s job action coincides with the start of exams for high school students across the board. Exams will go ahead as normal. Any questions about exam schedules may be directed to the respective high school principals. 

“We asked CUPE, out of respect for our high school students, to hold their strike until the end of exam week. These exam results will have a bearing for many Grade 12 students on post-secondary applications, scholarships and bursaries,” said Thompson. “CUPE denied that request.”

Cleaning services within schools will be restricted to night and weekend work. CCRSB managers and non-union staff will fulfill these duties; this will be reassessed depending on how long the strike lasts. Health and safety for students and staff is a priority as the strike progresses.

“We want to come to a fair and reasonable agreement with CUPE,” said Thompson, “Still, our students have to be our top priority. We are not in the business of creating “make work” projects.  Our focus needs to be on educating the students in our care.  Using valuable time and money on “make work” projects would take this school board in the wrong direction for our students and we need to be focused on what’s best for them now, and in the long-term.”  

Parents, guardians and students are asked to check the CCRSB website (www.ccrsb.ca, click on the CUPE strike information button), the Board Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ChignectoCRSB) and Twitter feed (@ChignectoCRSB) for the latest information. They may also call our dedicated phone line at the school board office in Truro at 1-844-488-4288 to leave comments and questions. 

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is comprised of 17 board members and 3,000 staff all striving to develop independent, lifelong learners in a student-centered environment, with high expectations for all. CCRSB serves over 20,000 students from Primary to Grade 12, throughout the counties of East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou.

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For more information, contact:

Debbie Buott-Matheson, Communications Manager
Chignecto-Central Regional School Board
Office: 902-897-8911
Cell: 902-956-8079