Parents concerned with having to cross picket lines to access schools

Sherry Martell
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TRURO - Truro mother Lynn Thornton is joining thousands of parents in this region bracing for a strike by school board workers.
She said driving her four children to two schools with different intake times will be challenging enough without the added stress of crossing picket lines.
"I really think the strike itself and not offering services is enough of a major inconvenience, so I don't feel they need to picket too," she said.
If a negotiated settlement is not reached between CUPE members and the province by Monday morning, bus drivers, maintenance workers and trades people plan to walk off the job.
Thornton's oldest child faces daily challenges living with spina bifida and depends on the wheelchair accessible bus service offered by the board to travel to and from Grade 12 classes at CEC.
"It's going to take away some of Emily's independence," said her mom. "She likes to get herself to school on her own."
The family only has one vehicle with two working parents and Thornton is not looking forward to the added stress she will experience trying to get everyone to and from their destinations.
"I'm self-employed so I have the flexibility to leave work when I need too but I'll be losing money," she said.
She estimates about 45-minutes will be added to her morning routine before she arrives at work, if the strike goes forward.
Belmont mother of two, Danielle Sawada, said she is fortunate to work in Truro, so she would be driving in the town's direction each morning anyway. However, staggered school schedules and increased traffic will cause
She also has concerns about her children crossing picket lines to access school.
"That is just wrong," she said. "I support the premise of equal pay for equal work but I don't support the children not having easy access to education."
Carolyn Pierce, CCRSB?spokeswoman, said while the board is very encouraged the lead table at the provincial level will resume talks on Sunday, school board representatives are continuing to prepare for a strike by its CUPE workers on Monday, including the possibility of pickets at all schools and board sites.
Pierce said they hope picketers would not obstruct parents or children entering or leaving school property but anticipates staff may be delayed.

Organizations: CUPE

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