Possible strike action a necessary step: Limestone District CUPE president

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Possible strike action a necessary step: Limestone District CUPE President
While some parents feel caught in the middle as another educators strike looms, CUPE Local 1480 president Erin Provost says it may be necessary to get what's best for support staff and kids – Nov 16, 2022

In a letter to parents Wednesday afternoon, the Limestone District School Board confirmed that if a resolution between the province of Ontario and the union representing education workers is not reached by Monday morning, all schools and buildings will be closed.

In Kingston, as across the rest of the province, that means that parents could be left scrambling again to find child care.

A statement sent out by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says the Ontario School Board Council of Unions, which represents more than 55,000 education workers, which includes education assistants, early child learning assistants and custodians, was able to reach a middle ground on wages, but not on funding for student services, leading to the strike notice.

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“In my own case I’m also a student and I’m also doing a part-time job, so that would be really, really hard for me as a parent,” Princess Kunda told Global News.

Kunda has two children, aged six and eight, and she says it puts parents in an awkward position.

She says while she supports what the education workers are fighting for, the strike makes things difficult for parents like her.

“I’m not against it either, because I believe that there must be some reasons, so I hope, maybe, the Ontario government, will do something about it to come in terms to negotiate (with the educators),” said Kunda.

Erin Provost, president of CUPE Local 1480, which represents all Limestone District education support staff, and an early childhood educator herself, says it’s a necessary evil to get what’s best for the workers and the kids.

“Our members are tired of being overlooked and undervalued, and in order to get this government to put student supports and services in place that we need, this is just something that, it’s just one more step in the process,” said Provost.

Now, it becomes a waiting game as the province and the educators stare each other down with time running out to Monday’s strike deadline.


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