BURNABY – Representatives of CUPE’s K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee met with the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) on November 8 and 9 as part of ongoing efforts to secure a provincial settlement for 26,000 school support staff in British Columbia. The two parties are set to continue bargaining on November 15 and 16.
The provincial bargaining discussions are taking place in an effort to deal with significant issues that affect all support staff throughout BC. Our provincial approach is important to deal with items that local employers generally won’t address.
When both provincial and local bargaining concludes, the provincial settlement and the local settlement will together renew local collective agreements following ratification by CUPE members in each local.
These two days of bargaining were the first since CUPE’s K-12 Presidents’ Council met on October 19. At that meeting, local presidents empowered its K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee to move forward on key priorities that included recognition and respect for Education Assistants, as well as improvements to job security, skills training, wages, benefits and the innovative programs of the Public Education Benefits Trust (PEBT). Bargaining continued to focus on these areas, along with the potential for continuing the work of the Support Staff Education & Adjustment Committee (SSEAC). The discussions, as they have been throughout, were positive and respectful.
CUPE members working in K-12 can keep in touch at www.bcschools.cupe.ca, and using @CUPEbcschools on Twitter. Information about the PEBT is available at www.pebt.ca, while the programs of SSEAC are profiled at www.sseac.ca.