CLAC Responds to Report of Hanover School Division Recruiting Temporary Workers during Strike
/ Author: CLAC Staff
/ Categories: Locals, Local 306, News, Sectors, Education /
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CLAC Responds to Report of Hanover School Division Recruiting Temporary Workers during Strike

Steinbach, MB—With reports suggesting that Hanover School Division (HSD) has been actively recruiting temporary workers to fill positions left vacant as their educational assistants (EAs) strike for better pay, the union representing these workers has expressed concern that not only are their members being devalued but that the quality of care HSD’s students receive will undoubtedly dwindle.

CBC reported this morning that a recruitment company has been tapped by the school division to find EA replacements at the rate of $20 per hour, only a dollar less than what EAs who have been working for the division for 20 years make under the current collective agreement.

“These dedicated employees have been on the picket line since November 1, asking their employer to recognize their value through a less precarious wage,” says Geoff Dueck Thiessen, CLAC Winnipeg Member Centre regional director. “And I think we’re seeing that value show up in the schools, as their absence is felt by students, parents, and teachers.

“When a student gets noisy in school, EAs are expected to be calm, be patient, and listen to what the student needs. When these EAs got noisy, their employer reached out to secure temporary workers at a higher wage than most EAs are currently paid. And that hurts.

“What EAs really want is for their employer to listen and reconsider their position, rather than focus energy and money on bringing in temporary workers who don’t know the schools, the students, the teachers, or the parents, never mind the community values that trustees have said they value.”

The Manitoba New Democratic Party under Wab Kinew previously said it is moving to ban replacement workers during strikes, though talks appear to have stalled since the resolution was passed at the party’s annual convention in October 2022.

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