On behalf of CUPE 728, Surrey school support workers, I would like to acknowledge the Surrey Board of Education trustees wage increase.
On June 21, 2012, they voted themselves a 1.9 per cent pay (Consumer Price Index for Vancouver) increase.
We also don’t begrudge them last year’s 2.6 per cent increase in their wages as well.
As one trustee said at the board meeting, the net zero mandate that has been imposed on public sector workers is the province’s policy, not Surrey’s.
We also note that trustee Charlene Dobie did not vote in favour of this inflationary increase, we respect and support her decision.
Our current collective agreement expired on June 30, 2012, and so as we prepare to negotiate a new contract for our members we hope the trustees feel their support staff workers are entitled to similar wage increases.
We hope they will let the province know this as well, and will lobby for their workers to be fairly compensated, just as they were, for the fine work we do in the district.
Surrey’s support workers accepted zero and zero over the past two years, while at the same time gas prices have soared, Hydro increased, we still have the HST among other affronts to working people.
We tightened our belts so the ship could be righted.
Now the Liberal government is proposing another zero-zero mandate, while showing us they do not have the skill or ability to right that ship.
Our members deserve better.
They work hard and expect to be fairly compensated, just like our trustees.
So we hope at the end of this bargaining the trustees can congratulate us on our fair wage increases, which we hope they truly believe we deserve.
Janice Meehan, President CUPE 728