Join the conversation and share your priorities about your work and public education

How to register

Each call has a unique Zoom link which will take you to a separate Zoom registration form. You must register for each call you wish to attend.

If you happen to click on the wrong link do not complete the information, instead go back to the call listings and click on the correct link. Making your selection will take you to a simple form. When you click “Submit”, a unique Zoom link to register for the meeting you have selected will open in a new window. You will receive an email with your call information after you register. If you have any problem, please email: closito@cupe.ca

Register here

 

 

Welcome to the CUPE BC K-12 Presidents’ Council site

Welcome to the CUPE BC K-12 Presidents’ Council site

The K-12 Presidents’ Council represents 57 CUPE locals in school districts across British Columbia.

CUPE represents more than 30,000 education workers including: education assistants, school secretaries, custodians/caretakers, Indigenous support workers, IT workers, Strong Start facilitators, trades and maintenance workers, and bus drivers.

We strive to protect quality public education for all.

Bulletin – Indigenous support workers, youth and family workers, library assistants share powerful experiences

Tuesday’s call with Indigenous support workers, youth and family workers, library support staff and other direct student support classifications was powerful both because of the generous sharing of personal stories and in terms of the unique challenges these members face.

Members identified and discussed their bargaining priorities as well as other important concerns.

Library assistants noted that the pandemic has brought a feeling of disconnection, as the number of students in libraries is now limited and digital systems are being used to place holds on books, etc.

The work of Indigenous support workers (ISWs) and youth and family workers relies on relationships of trust with students and their families, and for ISWs, the Indigenous community as well.

These members work closely with families to support a wide variety of needs. COVID-19 has seriously undermined their ability to communicate, provide service, and support students and their families.

Additional pandemic challenges for this group include:

  • lack of private space to meet and talk with students because all space in schools is now used for distancing
  • it’s not possible to do cultural programs because of pandemic protocols (e.g., no smudging ceremonies)
  • many Indigenous students are afraid to be in schools because they have safety concerns about physical distancing and not wearing masks
  • when students have to isolate for two weeks, they often do not come back to school
  • some Indigenous students do not have access to technology so online learning is not an option
  • many students live in close quarters with multiple generations, so families are not willing to risk sending students to school
  • ISWs face intense pressure to get Indigenous students back to school, but many parents no longer answer their phone, text messages or email because they are tired of being asked to do so

A poll question about driving students or members of their family opened a fulsome discussion about ISWs using personal vehicles (and cell phones) to do their work. Districts use a variety of systems to meet student transportation needs from purchasing bus tickets for students to covering mileage costs incurred by workers.

Participants were joined on the call by K-12 Presidents Council executive members, local presidents and CUPE National staff.

K-12 and early learning members are encouraged to take part in this exciting opportunity to hear from others who do the same or similar work, and to share information and priorities.

The next call on Thursday, May 6 is scheduled for IT tech support, technicians and other similar classifications.

REGISTER HERE:

Members are welcome to register for any of these upcoming calls any time on the actual day before the call starts.

May 6 5:30 – 7:30 pm IT, Tech Support, Technicians, and similar classifications

May 11 5:30 – 7:30 pm Labourers, Grounds and Maintenance

May 13 5:30 – 7:30 pm Meal Program Staff & Supervisors, including noon hour, Crossing Guards & others

May 17 5:30 – 7:30 pm Strong Start, ECEs, and similar classifications

May 18 5:30 – 7:30 pm Trades

Please follow us @cupek12bc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view bulletins at https://bcschools.cupe.ca.

View PDF.

Bulletin 67 – EAs across the Province share concerns and experiences

Hundreds of education assistants, SSWs, CEAs and similar classifications participated in four Zoom meetings held over the last two weeks to share their experiences and issues. Members identified and discussed their bargaining priorities as well as other important concerns.

Experiencing the pandemic

EAs dealt with and continue to face many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • anxiety and stress due to lack of or late communication about exposures and confirmed cases
  • additional pressures around transitioning between multiple cohorts
  • the ongoing need to remind students about safety protocols while providing support to multiple students
  • mask challenges including speaking loudly enough; understanding and being understood while speaking with a mask; students having difficulty keeping masks on; difficulties in reading student emotions behind their masks
  • less collaboration and less connection with colleagues equals less support for this group
  • fewer resources when working with students with challenging behaviours such as not having access to sensory rooms
  • unable to maintain physical distancing in this work
  • increased difficulty in having questions about safety plans addressed
  • anxiety, fatigue and burnout

Workplace violence

Many raised the issue of workplace violence that continues unabated during COVID. Some EAs are not getting access to student safety plans. Members have the right to refuse unsafe work. The steering committee continues to work with BCPSEA, the Ministry, and other
stakeholders in education on this serious issue.

Integrated early care and learning

A Q&A session followed a brief powerpoint on integrated before- and after-school care. The majority of EAs on the calls were interested in learning more about how school districts can expand these programs through in-house operation. Folks were encouraged to visit the website, send a message to their local trustees, and share the page on social media.

Standardization and training

EAs were pleased that standardization of credentials is moving forward and were directed to the position paper, Standard Credentials for Education Assistants, for more information and were asked to provide their feedback on its content and the direction CUPE will be taking on this important topic.

Participants were joined by K-12 Presidents Council executive, local presidents and staff. K-12 (and early learning) members are encouraged to take part in this ongoing series.

A call for Indigenous support workers, youth and family workers, library support staff and other direct support classifications will be held May 4 at 5:30 p.m.

How to register

Each call has a unique Zoom link which will take you to a separate registration form. You must register for each call you wish to attend. You will receive an email with your call information after you register. If you have any problem, please email: closito@cupe.ca

May 4           5:30 – 7:30 pm        Indigenous Support Workers, Youth and Family Workers, Library Support Staff and other direct student support classifications

May 6           5:30 – 7:30 pm        Tech Support, Technicians, and similar classifications

May 11         5:30 – 7:30 pm        Labourers, Grounds and Maintenance

May 13         5:30 – 7:30 pm        Meal Program Staff & Supervisors, including noon hour, Crossing Guards & others

May 17         5:30 – 7:30 pm        Strong Start, ECEs, and similar classifications

May 18         5:30 – 7:30 pm        Trades

Please follow us @cupek12bc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view bulletins at https://bcschools.cupe.ca.

View pdf.

Bulletin 66 – Reporting COVID-19 contracted at work to WorkSafeBC

CUPE members in K-12 and early learning are strongly encouraged to file a WorkSafeBC claim, using Form 6, in any and all instances where they have reason to believe they contracted COVID-19 while at work.

Current data provided by WorkSafeBC shows that the number of COVID-19 claims received for the education sector is quite low relative to the health and social services sectors. This suggests that the rate of COVID-19 cases from K-12 workplaces is low or that there is significant under-reporting of COVID-19 illnesses in this sector, or a combination of both.

It is a legislated requirement to report to WorkSafeBC if you have contracted COVID-19 while working. Also, there may be unforeseen long term conditions from COVID-19 that may be compensable, such as post-COVID syndrome. COVID-19 claims may be accepted for health care benefits even if there is no time loss.

Reporting illness or injury

As per the Guide on Filing WCB Claims for COVID-19 the process for reporting an illness or injury (including COVID-19) resulting from your employment is to:

  • Report to your employer AND
  • Complete and submit a WorkSafeBC Form 6 found at this link or provided by your employer when you report a workplace illness or injury

Members must report COVID-19 illness to their employer and to WorkSafeBC, and it is in their best interests to do so.

Cases of COVID-19 in the education sector are viewed by WorkSafeBC as due to presumptive workplace exposure. This means that cases of COVID-19 reported by K-12 (and early learning) staff have a high likelihood to be presumed as work-related and approved for claim.

Benefits of reporting to WorkSafeBC

On an approved claim, any time loss may be covered by WorkSafeBC rather than impacting a member’s pay or sick bank. Reporting cases of COVID-19 may also protect members from any time loss related to unforeseen subsequent health impacts resulting from the initial COVID-19 illness.  Having members file claims and report that a claim has been filed is important information for Joint Health and Safety Committees and health and safety in the workplace.

We will continue to remind WorkSafeBC and other stakeholders that we expect inclusive references to everyone in the education system, rather than simply referencing “teachers”. In the interest of transparency we have asked that WorkSafeBC provide data on the number of CUPE members, teachers, and administrators exposed to COVID-19, as well as the number of claims accepted in each category.

View PDF.

Please follow us @cupek12bc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view bulletins at https://bcschools.cupe.ca.

Bulletin 65 – Vaccine scheduling and paid time for vaccination

Additional school districts have begun scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations and the vaccine will be available for all K-12 and early learning staff. The following is some background and guidance about this long awaited and very welcome news.

Advocacy brings positive outcome

The CUPE K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE
National staff have been advocating and working with the Ministries of Education and Health to ensure that everyone in the education system who is able to receive a vaccine, can get one. We are proud that this advocacy has resulted in a positive outcome.

We are also extremely pleased with the announcement by the Ministry of Labour today that they have introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act that, if passed, will provide all workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If passed, the effective date will be retroactive to April 19, 2021.

We have been advocating on behalf of members so that they do not have financial barriers to getting vaccinated.

Addressing differing policies 

Regional health authorities will be working with districts in determining eligibility for vaccinations. In districts or regions where vaccine is not offered to all K-12 and early learning staff, we are asking CUPE locals to work with their CUPE National Representative so that we can bring these examples forward and increase our advocacy on behalf of those members.

Districts are stepping up to do the right thing

CUPE has broadly supported and encouraged members to be vaccinated. Various districts have found ways to achieve this without members incurring a loss to their pay or sick time.

Delta School District has maintained pay for CUPE 1091 members who are scheduled to be vaccinated during work hours. The Vancouver School Board and Richmond SD38 are scheduling vaccinations outside of work hours so that CUPE 15 and CUPE 716 members respectively, do not lose pay to be vaccinated.  We applaud these employers for demonstrating leadership and support of good public health policy.

Please follow us @cupek12bc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view bulletins at https://bcschools.cupe.ca.

View PDF.

Bulletin 64 – Custodians/caretakers and building maintenance check in

Custodians, caretakers, building service workers and similar classifications had a choice of two call-in times to accommodate their shift schedules on the latest Zoom calls held yesterday.

Many spoke about the impacts of ongoing cuts to custodians by the previous BC Liberal government.

Big issues for this group include workload, inadequate replacement when they are off, lack of training and orientation for new custodians, and concerns about chemicals being used in schools. Members exchanged information on the different types of spray machines districts are using for sanitation, as well as the system districts use to calculate the amount of time needed to clean the school. Some are based on square metres and others are set by time allotted to each classroom.

Talking about the pandemic, many reported significant changes to their work with increased duties and additional expectations. An example is the additional responsibility to sanitize and maintain hand washing stations that require refilling by hand.

All agreed that maintaining daytime custodians was a priority even after the pandemic. Members also discussed their bargaining priorities.

The participants, including members, presidents, K-12 Presidents Council executive and staff, joined the discussion about working during the pandemic and ongoing challenges.

We are planning to schedule another call with this classification— likely on a Saturday morning — to accommodate various shift schedules.

These Zoom calls — hosted by the CUPE K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE National staff — will continue throughout April and May.

K-12 and early learning members are encouraged to take part in this exciting opportunity to hear from others who do the same or similar work, and to share information and priorities.

The next series of four calls for education assistants, SSWs, CEAs and similar classifications are on Tuesday, April 20 for the Okanagan and Kootenays; Thursday, April 22 for Northern B.C.; Tuesday, April 27 for Vancouver Island and in island communities, and Thursday, April 29 for EAs in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

How to register      

Each call has a unique Zoom link which will take you to a separate registration form. You must register for each call you wish to attend. You will receive an email with your call information after you register. If you have any problem, please email: closito@cupe.ca

April 20    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in the Okanagan and Kootenays

April 22    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in Northern B.C.  

April 27    5:30 – 7:30 pm  Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working on Vancouver Island and in island communities

April 29    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley

May 4     5:30 – 7:30 pm     Indigenous Support Workers, Youth and Family Workers, Library Support Staff and other direct student support classifications

May 6       5:30 – 7:30 pm   Tech Support, Technicians, and similar classifications

May 11     5:30 – 7:30 pm   Labourers, Grounds and Maintenance

May 13     5:30 – 7:30 pm   Meal Program Staff & Supervisors, including noon hour, Crossing Guards & others

May 17     5:30 – 7:30 pm   Strong Start, ECEs, and similar classifications

May 18     5:30 – 7:30 pm  Trades

Please follow us @cupek12bc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view bulletins at https://bcschools.cupe.ca.

View PDF.