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Rainbow District School Board Educational support workers heading into conciliation

Sudbury – The bargaining team for OPSEU/SEFPO Local 614 is heading into conciliation with the Rainbow District School Board on Feb. 9, 2021.

The 186 members of Local 614 work as Educational Assistants and Communicative Disorders Assistants and provide physical, behavioural, and academic support for special education students in the Rainbow District.

Their collective agreement expired on August 31, 2019.

“These workers have some of the most stressful jobs on the front lines during this pandemic,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “While most school staff have been able to work from the safety of their homes, many of our members in Local 614 were in schools throughout the lockdowns because many of their students require close personal contact.

“These workers know what they need to do their work safely and well, and I support their right to stand up for themselves.”

The Local’s democratically elected bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the employer late last year, but the majority of the local members voted against that tentative agreement.

If the bargaining team and employer aren’t able to reach a new agreement during conciliation, a countdown towards a strike or lockout could become possible.

“We are assigned to work with the most vulnerable students with special needs and want to be recognized as an integral part of the team in seeking mutual agreement on key issues for moving forward,” said Lise Orsini, the President of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 614.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931