Caretakers in Nipawin, Sask., schools vote to join CUPE

Follows release of latest provincial budget

Public school caretakers in Nipawin, Sask., voted to unionize with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on May 2.

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board issued a certification order that brings a dozen more workers into CUPE Local 4875, which represents more than 300 education support workers in the North East School Division.

Since last fall — when the provincial government commissioned a report on education restructuring — standard concerns around job security, wages and benefits have been heightened for workers in K12 education, said the union.

Such concerns only increased following the release of the 2017 - 2018 provincial budget, which proposed $22 million in cuts to K12 education, a 3.5 per cent wage rollback for public sector workers followed by a wage freeze and changes to The Education Act in budget Bill 63, which would dramatically reduce the decision-making authority of local school boards, said CUPE.

The local’s collective agreement expires at the end of August 2018.

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