School board and union reach tentative agreement

Nick Seebruch

Published on February 14, 2017
La Citadelle was one of the schools affected by the strike (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario - On Monday evening, CUPE 4155 which represents support workers in the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO) ratified a tentative agreement with the school board.

The union and the CSDCEO negotiated the settlement over the weekend after CUPE 4155 began strike action on Feb. 7.

The union had objected to the school board's introduction of split shifts and reductions in staffing, citing concerns over students health and safety.

CUPE 4155 members include janitorial staff, secretaries, computer technicians, library technicians, and supervisors.

“We’re pleased to get back to doing the jobs we love, keeping schools clean and safe and functioning normally for students,” said Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE Local 4155.  “We go back to work having achieved what we needed to through the strike: we now have a fair and equitable deal. We’d like to thank the community for all the support they showed us during the strike. People were very generous and understanding” Giroux added. “Our members were also outstanding during the labour dispute. On the picket line, we had the opportunity to talk face-to-face with students’ parents. It was our chance to explain to them that the strike issues had a direct effect on their children’s experience in school. Members were greatly encouraged by the support from parents.”

The CSDCEO explained in a press release of its own that it never wanted a labour dispute with the union and that it always had the health and safety of its students in mind.

"We are pleased to have a fair and equitable deal for both parties. During the many negotiating meetings, we have always negotiated in good faith. Our priority has always been the safety, health and well-being of students and staff," said François Turpin, Director of Education and Secretary of CSDCEO.