CUPE K-12: Caring for BC students and public schools

Presidents meet to set bargaining priorities

RICHMOND - The CUPE K-12 Presidents’ Council has held its first planning session for 2012 bargaining.  

The council discussed a timetable for talks, strategy and bargaining priorities at the local and provincial levels.  But, before the bargaining discussions could get underway, elections were held. Council chair Terry Allen retired this month after more than 30 years of service. The new Council chair is Colin Pawson CUPE 1091 Delta (pictured far right). Also elected (from left) are treasurer Paula Cox CUPE4177 Nechako Lakes, vice-chair MarcelMarsolais CUPE 409 New Westminster and recording secretary Donna Mason CUPE 1260 Langley. 

CUPE K-12 co-ordinator Bill Pegler provided an extensive background report as well as outlining bargaining expectations: “CUPE K-12 members want secure, family supporting jobs. This means protections against arbitrary changes due to declining enrolment, more paid time to do the work, respectful wage increases and extended health benefits improvements.”

“In this round, we have the advantage of working with all CUPE locals and the broad public sector trade unions to help achieve a respectful and reasonable settlement,” added Pegler.  Pawson called it “an exciting development that gives us a united front against this provincial government for real job security and a substantial wage increase.”  

The specifics of local and provincial priorities will be formulated in part using the results of the first ever K-12 support staff bargaining survey. An interim report on the survey shows it has already been completed by more than 1,600 members and will be online until late June at  Your input is essential in helping identify local and provincial priorities.  

The process to create a provincial bargaining committee from the seven regions should be completed next week and a first meeting will be scheduled. The presidents at yesterday’s meeting welcomed CUPE3500 into the fold, meaning that the Council now represents all 56 K-12 CUPE locals in BC.