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UPDATE: Teamsters issue 72-hour strike notice in Abbotsford

Kevin Godden, superintendent, Abbotsford School District. - News file photo
Kevin Godden, superintendent, Abbotsford School District.
— image credit: News file photo

Teamsters Local 31 served 72-hour strike notice on its employer, the Abbotsford school district, on Friday afternoon.

The school district now has the ability to come back to the bargaining table with the intention of negotiating a new collective agreement before the 72 hours runs out.

"However, if the school district chooses not to take that option, your local union will commence strike action," said a statement issued by the local.

What form the possible job action could take is not yet clear.

Teamsters Local 31 consists of school support staff such as clerical workers, educational assistants, bus drivers, custodians and maintenance workers.

Negotiations between the two sides reached an impasse after the union rejected the final contract offer from the district on April 10, leaving the local to be the only one in the province without a settlement.

School district superintendent Kevin Godden said in a statement on the Abbotsford school district website that the Teamsters have not provided any details "as to the nature, location or specific time of their impending job action," but it could commence as early as Monday afternoon.

He said schools will be open as normal on Monday.

"As soon as we have more information, we will send a formal notice home to parents so that alternative arrangements can be made if needed," Godden said.

In a previous letter to parents following the impasse in negotiations, Godden said it is anticipated that members of the Abbotsford District Teachers' Association will observe any pickets established by the Teamsters.

"Consequently any strike activity will disrupt the operations of the school district, and impact students and families," Godden stated in the latter.

He said updates about any job action will be posted on the school district website (sd34.bc.ca).

Watch abbynews.com for more details as they become available.

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