The BCTF has announced escalation of their strike action commencing June 16, 2014.
Monday, June 16th, 2014 will be province wide activity. Teachers will hold 'study sessions'. There will be no picket lines. Support staff must report to work in the absence of picket lines.
Commencing Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 a full scale strike will begin in all Districts in the province. Picketing hours will vary. Local Teacher Associations determine the times picket lines will be in place.
Support staff should not cross picket lines if they are in place. If there is no picket line when you arrive at work, you must report for duty.
Support staff is reminded we have a binding collective agreement in place. The Provincial Framework Agreement has not been ratified. Although that agreement will provide wage protection in the event of picket lines that does not mean support staff do not have to report for duty and work when picket lines are not present. In the absence of picket lines support staff must report for work as usual.
Regarding what to do if you report to work and a picket line is subsequently erected, please see the excerpt of a bulletin put out by BCPSEA to all Districts which reads as follows:
11. A picket was established after support staff had commenced their shift. Do they receive the ESG grant if they stop working because of the picket?
While we do not agree that employees have the right to “down tools” to respect a picket line, if their shift has already commenced, on a without prejudice basis BCPSEA, advises the following:
Support staff commence work in the morning and a picket is erected a short time afterwards (e.g., 30 minutes after the start of shift). Support staff stop working, leave to respect a picket line, and do not return to work for the rest of their shift.
The employee will receive no pay for that day (including the example of 30 minutes worked) through the regular payroll run. Instead, the employee will receive pay for the full scheduled shift from the ESG (once the local agreement is ratified). On a case by case basis there will be consideration for an employee who works a significant portion of their shift prior to pickets being erected.
Support staff commence their shift and a picket is erected at recess and/or lunch. Support staff stop working and leave to respect a picket line. They return to work as scheduled for the time between recess and lunch as well as after lunch
The employee will receive pay for the full shift through regular payroll. Therefore there will be no payment received from the ESG.
Note: Essential Service Orders may determine that some employees’ work is deemed essential over recess or lunch (where normally scheduled), in which case they also are paid as per normal payroll
The full BCPSEA will be issued shortly for your information.
John Horsfield & Rob Hewitt
CUPE K-12 Coordinators