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REPORTING · 8th September 2014
Walter McFarlane
The Annual Labour Day Picnic hosted by Unifor took place on Monday September 1st. The picnic was busy this year. There were burgers, games for the children and an assortment of goodies. It has been one year since the CAW Union merged with the CEP to form Unifor.

“We celebrate labour, years and years of work that labour has put in to it, this gives a little bit back to our members and families. We’ve been doing it for 25 years,” said Unifor President Rick Belmont.

Present were Mayor Joanne Monaghan and MLA Robin Austin. The teachers had a booth to talk about the strike. Belmont expressed their support for the teachers to get a decent agreement. He also congratulated AJ Forsyth for getting a good collective agreement.

Monaghan stated she always looks forward to the picnic so she could see a lot of people she does not normally see because of the difference in where they work. She thanked everyone for coming and welcomed the camp workers to the community.

“I want to thank the unions for everything they’ve done. You make our community a real bold community; we want to thank you for that. Thank you for everything you do for us,” said Monaghan.

Austin stated it is an unusual year. “Normally when I’m here at this event, I see excitement amongst the parents because they can have relief because their kids are going back to school and they can no longer spend every hour entertaining their children and the kids are always a little bit tentative and excited about going back to school and this year, of course, that’s not the case,” said Austin.

He expressed the media was not reporting what the teachers are after. They are after better teaching conditions and better learning conditions. Austin stated the teachers have been fighting for this for 12 years and he hoped the government would uphold the decision by the Supreme Court.

“It’s not about teacher’s salaries, they are very close, they could fix that tomorrow. It’s about learning conditions, class size and composition and the millions of dollars stripped out of our public education system as a result of illegal legislation,” said Austin.