For the second time in less than three weeks, workers of the Regina Public School Division have voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action. In a meeting held July 17, 2019, members of CUPE Local 650 voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike mandate. Members of Local 3766 recently approved a similar vote by 95 per cent.
CUPE Local 650 represents 175 Maintenance and Tradespeople in the Regina Public School Division.
“Our members are being ignored,” says Glenn Douglas, president of CUPE Local 650, “Every other school division in Saskatchewan has been able to reach a collective agreement, and yet Regina Public won’t even make a reasonable offer. In fact, over the last two years, they have only bargained with us for three days.”
The most recent offer from the Regina Public School Division would see a two-year wage freeze and paltry wage increases in years three to five. “Job security is also being threatened under these negotiations.” says Douglas.
“Our members work tirelessly to make sure that public schools in Regina are a safe place for teachers, staff, students and parents. “Our schools work because we do, and instead of recognizing that, they are attacking our health and dental benefits, our severance/retirement gratuity, and trying to limit our ability to present grievances to the Board of Trustees.”
Local 650 members have not received a pay increase in almost four years, and yet the same board that ignores our members, gave themselves and senior administrators massive wage increases. It’s clear that the board recognizes their own value, but not those of its workforce.
“Our members are facing increasing demands in the workplace, and having to provide more work with fewer resources,” says Douglas, “All we are asking is that the Regina Public School Division stop ignoring the key role that our members play in providing safe, clean public schools in Regina, and offer our members a fair deal so we can continue to ensure that our children get the quality education they deserve.”