Tuesday, June 18, 2013

CUPE Receives Strike Mandates From Local School Board Workers

Non-teaching school board workers across the South Shore are joining other local unions in favour of taking strike action. CUPE received strike mandates from 220 workers with the Local 964, Tri-County School Board and 225 people with the Local 4682, South Shore Regional School Board by a 97 per cent vote. The union last met with the Department of Education in May to discuss a new contract for non-teaching staff including janitors, bus drivers, teaching assistants and library techs. CUPE School Board coordinator Kathy MacLeod says pensions are a big part of the negotiations.

Other local unions with the Chignecto and Strait Regional School Boards voted 88% in favour of a strike mandate. CUPE represents 3,700 school board workers across the province. A conciliation officer with the Department of Labour will join the talks when the two sides return to the bargaining table Thursday in Dartmouth.

South Shore: Gov't Announces $200,000 In Rec Grants

The Bridgewater Curling Club will see $60,000 in provincial grant money to help keep the rink operating well into the future. It was one of nine grants announced earlier today in Lunenburg. The money will go toward replacing the club's sprinkler system and refrigeration unit. President Sandra Porter-Lowe says the membership is grateful the funding was approved.

Meanwhile, the South Shore Fieldhouse received $40,000 for upgrades to the facility in Bridgewater. A total of 59 grants totaling $2 million were announced throughout the province.

Following is a list of grants in the South Shore region:

-- Bridgewater Curling Club, upgrading the sprinkler system and installing a new condenser for ice-making, $60,000

-- Bridgewater Marina Association, constructing a trail and two public slips, $8,800

-- East Chester Recreation Association, new floor in community hall, $19,000                   

-- Liverpool Curling Club, accessibility upgrades, $10,000

-- Lunenburg and District Swimming Pool, upgrades to pool and deck, $16,800

-- Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, development of Petite Riviere Park, $25,000

-- South Shore Fieldhouse Society, fieldhouse upgrades, $40,000

-- Town of Lunenburg, expanding the skate park, $18,000

-- Pubnico Point Trail Association, constructing the Pubnico Point Trail, $18,700

MODL: Housing Coalition Requests Council Support

A group trying to build awareness of the need for affordable rental housing in the area is asking for help from the Municipality of Lunenburg. Members of the South Shore Housing Action Coalition provided an update this morning to council. The group was formed in 2010 to promote the need for quality rental housing in Lunenburg and Queens Counties. Mayor Don Downe says federal and provincial money is needed.

The group says 34 per cent of renters in Lunenburg County pay more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. They also say there are limited range of housing types in the municipality. The coalition is asking the municipality to forward a resolution to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities regarding minimum rental accommodation standards.

Public Hearing Focuses On Former Blockhouse School

The future of the former Blockhouse school will be front and center Tuesday night. A public hearing will be held to allow residents to support or oppose selling the property to the South Shore Ventures Co-op for less than market value. The property was assessed for 2014 at just over $123,000 by Property Valuation Services Corporation. The group has been leasing the property for the last year and is looking to transform the property into a sustainability and permaculture training centre. The hearing starts at 7pm at the Blockhouse Fire Hall.