There have been frequent questions on the process followed to achieve and ratify a Provincial Framework Agreement. The steps in the process are unique to the K-12 structure.
The process begins with the circulation of a bargaining survey to all K-12 Support staff affiliated to the Presidents Council. Non CUPE Unions (NCUs), affiliated with the Presidents’ Council are included in the survey. After the survey closes the results are compiled and forwarded to the Provincial Bargaining Committee. From there the process proceeds as follows:
• The Provincial Bargaining Committee receives the survey results and meets to develop proposals based on the survey results.
• The draft protocols are presented at a Presidents Council meeting where they are debated and ratified by the entire Council.
• The ratified bargaining proposals are returned to the bargaining committee for bargaining. The final proposals are also distributed to all presidents and Non CUPE Unions for inclusion in the Local bargaining package.
• The Provincial Bargaining Committee meets with BCPSEA and negotiates a tentative framework agreement based on the ratified bargaining proposals.
• When the Provincial Bargaining Committee reaches a tentative Framework Agreement with BCPSEA, they recommend the agreement to the Presidents Council for ratification. In 2014 the Provincial Bargaining Committee, in attendance, unanimously recommended the tentative agreement.
• The tentative Framework Agreement is then taken to the entire Presidents' Council. The Presidents' Council debates the proposed agreement and votes to ratify or reject the agreement. A majority vote requires more than 50% of the Locals / NCUs representing over 50% of the membership. The Presidents' council is meeting on June 16th and 17th to debate and vote on the package.
• If the Presidents' Council rejects the Provincial Framework agreement, the Provincial Bargaining Committee will return to the table to negotiate a new package.
• When the Local's bargaining committee reaches a tentative agreement with the School District the entire package of Local bargaining issues and the Provincial Framework Agreement are taken to the entire membership of the Local for ratification through the Local's normal process.
• If the Local rejects the tentative agreement the entire package, including Local items and the Provincial Framework Agreement are rejected. The Local bargaining committee would then return to bargaining with the District.
• If the Local ratifies their tentative agreement a new Collective Agreement is in place which includes all items bargained locally and all items included in the Provincial Framework Agreement.
John Horsfield & Rob Hewitt
CUPE K-12 Coordinators