More N.S. school support staff overwhelmingly ratify new agreement

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX More school board employees in Nova Scotia have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new five-year contract.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Monday that support staff from the Tri-County regional school board gave the deal a 95 per cent approval.
Staff at the Cape Breton-Victoria regional school board voted 94 per cent in favour while those at the Strait regional board came in at 96 per cent.
Employees in the Annapolis Valley already voted 98 per cent in favour of the contract, which includes raises of 2.9 per cent for the first three years and one per cent for the remaining two.
The first three years are retroactive to March 2007 and the contract expires on April 1, 2011.
Bus drivers, for example, will go to $20.91 an hour from $18.81 by the end of the contract.
Trades people - electricians, plumbers and carpenters - will see their wages go to $22.14 an hour from $19.24.
Others represented by the union include secretaries, janitors and teachers aides.
Still to vote are employees on the South Shore, who were to cast their ballots Monday night. Those in the Chignecto-Central regional school board and some employed by the francophone Conseil scolaire Acadien provincial board will vote Saturday.
The 3,000 support workers from school boards outside of the Halifax regional school board district were poised to strike on Jan. 18. An eleventh-hour deal was struck with the province, which kept them on the job.
At issue was wage parity with their counterparts from Halifax.
Also voting this week are 4,100 support workers, also represented by CUPE, who work at hospitals outside the Halifax region. Wage parity with Halifax area employees is also at issue.
Those employees were briefly on strike last week until a tentative deal was reached a few hours later.

Organizations: More N.S. school, Canadian Union of Public Employees, HALIFAX More school board Acadien provincial board

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Tri-County Annapolis Valley South Shore

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