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School support workers have not had a raise in pay for four years
Richmond School District’s CUPE support workers do not want to go on strike.
We are very up front and honourable and want you to know, first of all, this most important fact. We love our jobs and are dedicated to the students and teaching staff in the district, the people we work with on a daily basis. Our work and our part in the educational system always meets the highest standards and Richmond School District’s reputation reflects that.
Now that I have been up front, stating clearly that we do not wish to go on strike, I request that the provincial government be equally straightforward and honest in their negotiating with our union.
Our negotiating committee has been negotiating for months with the provincial government. In the latest round of negotiations, we were told that if we asked for a pay raise we had to come to the table with ideas to save an equal amount of money. Our negotiating team did just this.
The government representatives on the other side of the table replied with nothing. Nothing. No response. Were they just there on a fishing expedition to take our money saving ideas back to their bosses? In other words were they not being up front and honest in their negotiations? Despite hearing our cost saving ideas, are they going to force us to go on strike by not replying to our negotiating committee?
I am sure they know that if we do strike, we will be causing great inconvenience to the families and teachers of the district. They also know it will cause anger towards us from the public. We do not wish to do this. We do not want to strike.
The Richmond School District support workers have not had a raise in pay for four years and prior raises were .5 per cent in 2008, .5 per cent in 2007, and 1 per cent in 2006. We had no pay raises for a few years before that which means our pay has increased only two per cent in the last nine years. We are not ‘greedy’. The cost of housing, heat, hydro, food and transportation have increased by much more than 2 per cent in the past 9 years.
The taxes that pay for our municipal and provincial services are taken directly from of our paycheques before we receive our pay. That means we are important taxpayers. We also spend our paycheques locally, contributing to the prosperity of our communities.
All we are asking is that the provincial government respect our work and respect us as human beings and citizens of this province. Do not force us to go on strike, our most extreme recourse. Return to the bargaining table before the scheduled start of this school year and speak honestly and openly with our negotiating committee. Thank you for your consideration.