Educational assistants return to work, ending strike at Manitoba school division

Less than a month after they first hit the picket lines, educational assistants at a Manitoba school division have returned to work.

Over 200 educational assistants employed with the Hanover School Division voted to ratify a new collective agreement on Nov. 22, ending a strike affecting numerous students across the division. The agreement was reached between the union representing the workers, the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), and the division on Monday.

In a press release on Thursday, the union stated that 83.1 per cent of educational assistants voted in favour of the agreement, which involves an immediate increase in worker compensation of 6.3 per cent. Education premium increases total 42 per cent over the lifetime of the agreement, along with an immediate 21 per cent increase.

The release further notes that workers won’t lose workdays due to unpredictable school closures and will receive significant improvements in sick day provisions.

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“What Manitobans need to know is that our education system is under immense strain and is being held together by an army of front-line workers who often need to work more than one job. And it’s their passion that keeps this system running behind the scenes,” said the union’s regional director in Winnipeg, Geoff Dueck Thiessen, in the release. “The system needs help, in the form of dollars and cents, and this strike has certainly highlighted that fact.”

The school division, in its own release on Thursday, said that it looks forward to welcoming the educational assistants back to work.

Click to play video: 'Hanover EA strike impacts'

Hanover EA strike impacts

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