CUPE B.C. school workers approve strike mandate
Union presses for higher wages, funded settlements similar to other public-sector employees
Barely 12 months after a tense year-long labour dispute with teachers ended in B.C.'s public schools, more job action could be on the way.
CUPE B.C. says 27,000 education assistants, clerical staff, trades, aboriginal workers, youth workers, custodians, and bus drivers in elementary and secondary schools have voted in favour of a strike.
The union says the mandate covers almost all of its 57 locals, in 53 school districts across the province.
CUPE B.C. K-12 spokesman Colin Pawson says members have not had a wage increase for more than four years and the union is hoping for funded settlements similar to those for other public-sector employees.
Legislation in 2012 ended a three-day walkout and bitter work-to-rule campaign by public school teachers.
The B.C. Teachers' Federation signed a contract last year that expired last month, but new negotiations are already strained as the Liberal government aims for a 10-year deal.