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HRCE hiring replacements for striking CUPE members

By Caitlin Snow May 17, 2023 | 12:35 PM

More than 1800 CUPE members are on day 8 of the strike, fighting for fair wages and instead of returning to the table, HRCE has hired replacement workers to fill their positions.

The school board started advertising for the positions on May 13.

The union says it’s a waste of time and money since the new staff will have to go through background checks and training before they can even start. They also say their bargaining power comes from the ability to stop working, by going on strike and fighting for more for themselves and fellow workers.  They say by hiring replacements, HRCE is undermining their Supreme Court-protected right to strike.

“Is that the message the HRCE and the Houston government want to send to Nova Scotians?” asked CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen. “That Nova Scotia is a province that
disempowers the workers fighting for better wages? If not, it’s time to table anti-scab legislation that prevents this from happening to any worker in the future.”

In an email President Chris Melanson told our newsroom, “Sadly, as of yet, government has not answered our request to continue conversations. We know that a deal can only be made at the table, however they’re not willing to come back. We recognize that the public, students, teachers that remain in school, and our members are very disheartened to find out that both government and the employer are pushing hard for scab or replacement workers to go into schools in an effort to give the appearance that everything is working well. Everyone, except government, seems very concerned that people that are not trained and are unfamiliar to the students will be working in schools while qualified staff remain on the picket line.”

The support workers include ECE’s, EPA’s, Library Specialists, Pre-Primary workers and more.

They went on strike May 10.


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