The Abbotsford School District and the Teamsters Local 31 union representing support staff will meet for a third time with a mediator on Nov. 16. (Black Press file photo)

The Abbotsford School District and the Teamsters Local 31 union representing support staff will meet for a third time with a mediator on Nov. 16. (Black Press file photo)

Abbotsford School District and support staff continue to negotiate with mediator in lieu of strike

Nov. 16 marks third meeting after 95 per cent of staff voted in favour of strike

The Abbotsford School District and the Teamsters Local 31 union, which represents school support staff, will head to the bargaining table with a mediator for the third time on Nov. 16.

The Teamsters Local 31 represents clerical workers, bus drivers, education assistants, youth care workers, maintenance workers and custodians working for the district.

Around 800 support staff voted 95 per cent in favor of a strike on Oct. 17. The Teamsters and the district have since held negotiating meetings on Oct. 31 and Nov. 4 with a mediator.

The district’s original offer in September was rejected by 93 per cent of the support staff.

Staff say they are the lowest paid district by $3 to $5 an hour and say they only receive six paid sick days annually, while most districts provide their employees with 18.

Support staff have been without a contract since June 30, when their previous five-year collective agreement ended.

Before any strike action takes place, a 72-hour notice must be given to the district.

RELATED: Abbotsford school support staff vote 95 per cent in favour of strike