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CUPE member says use of replacement workers ‘insulting’ as strike enters third week

By Caitlin Snow May 25, 2023 | 1:48 PM

It’s day 15 of the CUPE strike and school support workers say they would have reached a deal already if employers in Nova Scotia were not able to hire replacement workers.

“It’s insulting, frankly,” said Natalee Boulanger, an EPA and CUPE 5047 member. She says if they had legislation against it in Nova Scotia, then the strike wouldn’t be dragging on.

“Instead, we’re getting nowhere because government and the HRCE are trying to break the union by hiring replacement workers, and it’s the kids who are suffering because of it,” Boulanger said.

The use of replacement workers is illegal during a labour dispute, in Quebec and BC and strongly discouraged by the United Nations International Labour Organization because it undermines the integrity of collective bargaining.

“It’s clear that Tim Houston and Becky Druhan do not care about the kids we serve. We want to be back in schools supporting them, but our elected representatives would rather freeze us out than come back to the bargaining table,” said Boulanger.

A petition is circulating online with now over 1,500 signatures and climbing, encouraging Premier Tim Houston to get back to the bargaining table.

The workers walked out May 10.


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