School support workers’ job action a sign of things to come?

Unhappy with contract negotiations, Surrey CUPE workers talk about what to do come September.

About 75 unionized school support workers took job action Tuesday afternoon holding a half-hour “study session.”

Members of the more than 3,800-strong CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) local 728 – representing workers such as education assistants, custodians and clerical and maintenance workers – voted 87 per cent in favour of striking in May. The union says talks with the employer have broken down because of government’s net-zero wage stance.

CUPE workers haven’t had a pay increase since 2009.

All union locals across the Lower Mainland were taking some form of job action on Tuesday. Not wanting to impact students or teachers at this point, Surrey’s sit-in was intended as a short planning session to discuss further job action that will likely be taken once school resumes in September.

K-12 locals across B.C. are expecting to have strike votes taken by the end of June.

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