Three CUPE locals ratify deals with school district
EDMONTON – Members of three locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have ratified contracts with Edmonton Public School District.
CUPE 3550 (Support staff) CUPE 474 (Custodial Workers) and CUPE 784 (Maintenance and Trades)
CUPE 3550 President Trudy Grebenstein said her members accepted an 11.5% wage increase reluctantly; indicating that her members were not sure wage increases would cover the cost of living.
“The cost of housing has gone up dramatically in Edmonton, with some of our members facing rent increases of $500 a month or more,” said Grebenstein. “In the past, 11.5% would have been a good deal – but it’s getting harder to make ends meet while working for the school district.”
Doug Luellman, President of CUPE 474, said job security and working conditions were the key issues that his members wanted addressed. “We have faced a decade of cuts to custodial staff in the district and last spring further cuts were the last straw.”
He says he is pleased that the new contract will help correct the custodial staffing shortfall. The School Board and the union agreed to a staffing formula for schools to follow. Luellman was also pleased part time custodial workers will now be guaranteed twenty hours of work a week and the inclusion of benefits for casual workers.
The maintenance workers group ratified a contract in which the wage increases vary by job classification, but for most employees are in the 17% range over three years.
For more information about CUPE Alberta, visit www.alberta.cupe.ca