Bulletin – Trades members have a frank and open discussion

CUPE members working in trades have played a crucial role during the pandemic, putting in safety measures to keep schools safe and thereby helping to keep the economy open.

As well as discussing the impact of the pandemic and identifying concerns for bargaining, members took the opportunity for frank discussion on a variety of topics. Local presidents and members of the K-12 Presidents Council executive offered
advice and shared experiences on the topics at hand.


  • productivity has decreased because of added recesses and lunches taking time away from areas where trades would normally have access
  • equipment on grounds has to be shut down when students are present and more is done outdoors so even though these trades don’t go into schools, they have more down time
  • increased workload due to added handwashing and sanitizing stations that were installed and need upkeep
  • ventilation is a big challenge with additional systems being installed and more filters being changed


Outdoor classrooms are being built and the work would ideally be done by CUPE carpenters but some districts say there’s too much work and want to contract it out. Contracting out trades work is a common concern in many locals. Creating
apprenticeships and training opportunities as a way to create good jobs and recruit more trades people was suggested.


Joint job evaluation, looking at the labour market, and considering recruitment and retention as well as equity as part of the process was discussed from a trades perspective.

This call was the last regularly scheduled call in this popular and successful series. One additional Saturday call has been added so that caretakers, custodians, and building maintenance workers unable to join a weekday call, have the opportunity to have their voices heard.

The K-12 Presidents Council would like to thank all members for their important contribution and input on all calls, as well as the many local presidents who participated, and staff. Information from all classifications will be invaluable as we begin to prepare for bargaining. 


We have scheduled an additional meeting for custodians, caretakers, building service workers, and similar classifications in response to member requests. Please join us for the last call in this series.

Saturday, June 5 at 10 am

Your K-12 Presidents Council executive and CUPE National staff look forward to hearing from you.


Members are able to register for the final classification call up to and including the day of the call, before the meeting starts.

June 5      10:00 am – noon  Custodians, Caretakers, Building Service Workers, and similar classifications

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

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