More than 400 bus drivers, custodians and tradespeople with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in Nova Scotia are on strike.
CUPE National Representative Betty Jean Sutherland says 433 members of Local 3890 took part in votes at three locations on Sunday, Jan. 26, rejecting the board’s latest offer on contracting positions.
She noted the final numbers on the offer were very close.
A mass picket was scheduled for 8 a.m. this morning, Jan. 27, outside the CCRSB head office.
The school board serves students from East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties.
About 17,000 of CCRSB’s 20,000 students rely on the bus system to get to class. They had to find alternate means Monday, Jan. 27, and will continue to have to do so as long as the strike persists.
In a press release, Trudy Thompson, CCRSB chair, said exams were to go ahead as scheduled this week despite the disruption to the students’ routines.
“We asked CUPE, out of respect for our high school students, to hold their strike until the end of exam week. These exam results will have a bearing for many Grade 12 students on post-secondary applications, scholarships and bursaries,” said Thompson. “CUPE denied that request.”
As a result of the strike, all busing within the school board stopped immediately and maintenance was slated to be performed on an emergency basis only.
In addition to these measures, schools were only going to be open 60 minutes before the start and close of the regular school day.
All extracurricular activities have also been canceled while the workers remain on strike.