Opinion

LETTER: CUPE workers are sacrificing too

Editor:

We are the CUPE Local 411 (Chilliwack school district) executive. There has been much discussion lately regarding the impact of the BCTF strike on their members. There has been talk about food banks for the teachers as well as information that we received today that Telus will be giving the teachers a credit on their phone/Internet bills.

We are certainly in favour of helping out those that need help at this time. However, we feel that it is very important for the public to realize that CUPE school support staff across the province is being very severely impacted by this job action as well. Yes, we have a tentative agreement with BCPSEA, and part of that agreement is that the wages that we lose will be recouped but, what most people don’t seem to realize is that we are not receiving any pay at this time, either.

If and when we recoup our wages it will be if and when our agreement is accepted by our respective Locals and BCPSEA. This will not be until some time in the fall. On top of that, many of our members are 10-month employees and are

facing the summer with very little, if any, income. We have many, many members that make far less than even the lowest paid teacher in the BCTF and this situation has created a major hardship for them as well.

To be perfectly clear, we are not asking for handouts, nor are we trying to take away from the concern for the teachers, we simply feel that it is important for the public to be clear about the situation as it impacts the rest of us.

We fully support the teachers, and, if we are ever in a similar situation, we hope that they will support us as well.

Thank you for your time

Rod Isaac

CUPE Local 411 executive

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