Common Questions and Answers

CUPE 441 Members,

As the plan to come out to your lunch and answer questions has been thwarted I will attempt to answer some of the common question in from several emails today do we.

Q   Why do the teachers get strike pay on the first day and only 3 hour shifts while we have 4 hour shifts and no strike pay to start??

A   We are different Unions with a different structure and shallower pockets. Our 4 hour shift need is because strike pay is paid by CUPE BC and CUPE National.  Strike pay does NOT come from the local.  This is a CUPE constitution issue. The ONLY way to get funding from these two bodies is to put in the paperwork, with your signature signing in and out,  showing that you did 20 hours of picketing or other duties in a week or translate that to 4 hours per day. There is NO way around it, through it or over it.

Due to the circumstances even though we can’t discuss ANYTHING but what is on the agenda of a special meeting I think we can make an exception at Saturday’s special meeting and open the floor to discussing the teachers job action and our strike pay issues.

Q   Can I picket at the site closer to me than my own?

A   Yes, since this is not our strike we do not have to make sure our numbers are spread around the sites evenly to “hold the line”. It may prove harder to manage and file at our end but gas expenses should be kept down for you.  I will ask however whenever possible we do go to our sites. If it was us in their shoes I would appreciate seeing my teacher co-workers supporting us.  I also ask those members at Physical Plant and the SBO to go to your site. On-call members should also go to the SBO to perform there picketing duties. For OUR purposes big numbers at the SBO is very important.

Q  This is not our fight why are we picketing for teachers?

A   Good question.  This is about collective bargaining rights and that concerns everyone Union or not Teacher, CUPE, Parent, Student, Human being. This is a HUMAN RIGHT protected under our Canadian constitution and it is under attack on many fronts. We are not fighting anyway this situation has been thrust upon us by powers beyond our control. Lets make the best we can of a bad situation for OUR purposes and do your duty as Union members.

Q  What can the Union do if I cross the teacher’s line and CUPE’s support line and go to work?

A   I don’t know. It is my sincere hope I don’t ever have to research Union trail and sanctioning Union members. Our position is CUPE does NOT cross picket line.  Union history shows people have died on picket lines to get you things like heath and safety, equality, maternity leave, wcb, paid holidays, ot, sick leave, benefits., week ends. the list goes on and on and on. Please honour the sacrifice they made for you.  youtube “What have the Union ever done for us”

Q  Are the teacher’s going to picket lunch times and other work they have now been locked out of by the employer on the NON rotating strike days?

A  Things are very fluid in this tense situation and I don’t have that answer for you yet.

In short please don’t play into the transparent and subtle divide and concur tactics being targeted at the teachers and us. This is the time to band together in solidarity and stand up with and for each other. It is our STRENGTH and those that want to divide us know it. Otherwise they wouldn’t be putting such extraordinary efforts into dividing us would they?

I will be at the portable all day and into the night again Friday.

See you then or Saturday

Dean