By Rosalind Russell –
Threat of strike draws closer
The threat of a strike by 55-thousand educational support workers has increased, following three days of negotiations.
Little progress is being reported between the provincial government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents custodians, librarians, teachers’ aides and clerical staff.
The mediator has another day of talks planned for November 1st, just two days before the union is in a legal strike position.
The provincial government says its goal is to keep children in school, a veiled reference to the threat of back-to-work legislation.
The union has been asking for an 11.7 percent pay increase but the government has offered two percent more to those earning less than 40-thousand dollars a year, and 1.5 percent for everyone else.
Another officer killed in the line of duty
The suspect in the death of a B-C Mountie has been charged with first-degree murder.
Jongwon Ham is accused of stabbing Constable Shaelyn Wong as she was checking a homeless encampment in Burnaby on Tuesday.
Police say the 37-year-old Ham was wanted on a warrant for missing a court date for a previous assault charge but add they don’t know if Constable Wong was aware of the situation.
Meantime, a joint funeral will be held today for Constables Devon Northrup and Morgan Russell.
The two police officers were shot and killed earlier this month while attending a residential disturbance call in Innisfil, north of Toronto.
Replacement worker legislation
The federal government says it will move ahead with plans to introduce a bill that would forbid the use of replacement workers during strikes in federally-regulated industries.
Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan admits that the business community is “not entirely happy” with the government’s plans.
But he says it’s the “natural evolution” of workers’ rights.
Quebec and B-C have similar legislation at the provincial level.
A public consultation process was launched yesterday and the government will push the legislation through next year.
Photo: Constable Shaelyn Yang (Photo via BC RCMP Twitter)