Bulletin – Thank you to all school support workers

With summer upon us, the K-12 Presidents Council would like to thank all school support workers for their exemplary service through another challenging school year. As the pandemic continues, your dedication and professionalism are to be commended.

Thanks to your work, students and families have been able to depend on clean and healthy schools being open and providing high quality public educations throughout this school year.

Bargaining update

We of course also thank you for your solidarity and support as we’ve been bargaining with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association towards a renewed provincial framework agreement.  We thank everyone who helped guide our bargaining priorities by taking part in our provincial bargaining survey, and for all the work being done at the local level to mobilize our members towards fair collective agreements. We also thank our provincial bargaining committee, and all of the local bargaining committees too, for their hard work and dedication.

We remain committed to continuing our bargaining with the BCPSEA.  We recently scheduled dates for a return to provincial bargaining – September 13-15, 2022.

We remain hopeful a provincial framework agreement centred on a fair wage settlement can be reached that reflects the value and importance of our work to students, families, and communities.

In the meantime, K-12 locals are encouraged to continue preparing for local bargaining and building member mobilization efforts in support of our bargaining committees. CUPE continues to work closely with our union allies to achieve fair contracts for all public sector workers, who have been on the frontlines serving our province every day throughout the pandemic.

New video highlighting our work

The K-12 Presidents Council is also pleased to be releasing a new video highlighting the work our members do in school districts across the province. Produced with support from the national union, this 2-minute animated video shows the many crucial jobs our members do, and how important they are to providing quality public educations for students in B.C.

You can watch this new video on our website bcschool.cupe.ca, and on our social media channels – @CUPEK12BC. Please share this video in your communities.

Radio ads

During June, the K-12 Presidents Council has been running radio ads throughout B.C., shining a light on the invaluable work our members do in communities across the province. The radio ad, being carried in every community with a local represented in the K-12 Presidents Council, highlights the crucial role school support workers play for students and families, and the challenges facing our members.

You can hear the ad on your local radio stations, and it is posted on our Facebook page – facebook.com/CUPEK12BC. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbours.

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Bulletin – Bargaining Update: far apart on money issues, more work to be done

The K-12 provincial bargaining committee met last week with their counterparts from the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association. This third session focused primarily on monetary issues, including wages and term for a new provincial framework agreement.

After years of chronic underfunding by past provincial governments, inflation driving up our province’s already high cost of living, and the toll of a 2-year long pandemic, school support workers are falling farther behind. From the opening of these talks, the K-12 bargaining committee has been clear that the top priority for school support workers is the need for wage increases that recognize the vital role they play in our public schools and our communities.

In last month’s throne speech, the provincial government committed to tying increases to provincial minimum wages to inflation rates, a policy it says will “make everyday life more affordable” for workers.

The K-12 bargaining committee is firm that the starting point to fairness for school support workers are wage increases that reflect the rising cost-of-living in line with current inflation rates. But the BCPSEA’s first wage offer falls far short of addressing the financial pressures being carried by school support workers and their families and does not live up to the province’s commitment to “leave no worker behind.”

Our members are highly trained, qualified, and dedicated to public service. They are ready to take on new opportunities – such as expanding our school systems to be places for early learning that can be for childcare, before and after school. They are ready to face new challenges – as they did throughout the pandemic keeping our schools clean and healthy, and keeping them running for all students.

But to keep serving B.C. communities, K-12 support staff need to be properly resourced, treated with respect, and paid fairly.  The province and BCPSEA must live up to their commitment and recognize the crucial role school support workers have in a high-quality public education system that better serves and cares for students, offers more support for families, and benefits everyone in our communities.

The parties are committed to meet again in the future to continue bargaining.

Over the past 2 years, our members have been told time and time again that their work is critical to keeping students learning, families supported, schools clean and healthy, and communities thriving. We remain hopeful a wage settlement can be reached that reflects the value and importance of our work and does not leave our members behind.

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Bulletin – March Mobilizing Mondays!

K-12 locals across the province are in preparations for local bargaining. So, throughout March, CUPE Education is launching Mobilizing Mondays – every Monday of the month CUPE will be virtually hosting the Mobilizing for Bargaining workshop for K-12 locals.

In this online workshop, locals will learn to assess how well their members are engaged. The session covers building power by mobilizing members to build solidarity and support for the bargaining committee.

This is an excellent training opportunity for local mobilization committees. Registrations for these workshops are free of charge to CUPE locals. Locals are responsible for other associated costs (i.e., member book-offs).

The workshops will be held over Zoom in English every Monday in March, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Pacific Time.

K-12 locals will get priority registration, but please register for the preferred date as soon as possible. The deadline to register for the first session is March 4. More information on the workshops and registration is available in the links below.

Register TODAY for Mobilizing Monday!

Click here to register for March 7, 2022

Click here to register for March 14, 2022

Click here to register for March 21, 2022

Click here to register for March 28, 2022

If you’d like more information on the workshops, please contact Logan Lamerton at llamerton@cupe.ca.

If you need assistance with registration, please contact Darlene Wilson at dwilson@cupe.ca.

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Bargaining continues, pivotal meeting ahead

The K-12 provincial bargaining committee met this week with their counterparts from the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association for another three days of discussions.

Talks continued on a wide range of topics during face-to-face, safely distanced meeting. Agreements were tentatively reached at the table on several non-monetary issues for a new provincial framework agreement.

Bargaining will resume with three more days of talks scheduled for March 1st through to the 3rd. The K-12 committee expects this to be a pivotal phase of bargaining and are planning to tackle our significant monetary proposals.

The K-12 committee remains committed to reaching a deal at the table. From the start of this round, the K-12 bargaining committee has been clear that the top priority for K-12 school support workers is the need for wage increases that recognize the vital role they play in our communities. A renewed provincial framework agreement will greatly depend on advancement on this issue.

Following this next bargaining session with BCPSEA, the bargaining committee will be meeting with the K-12 Presidents Council to either ratify a tentative agreement or to discuss strategies for next steps in the bargaining process. Members should watch for that bulletin at bcschools.cupe.ca, directly from your local, and on our social media – @cupek12bc.

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Bargaining Update – Provincial bargaining begins for K-12 sector

 

Bargaining for a new provincial framework agreement for K-12 school support workers began this week. The K-12 provincial bargaining committee met with their counterparts from the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association for three days of face-to-face, safely distanced discussions.

The K-12 bargaining committee tabled a comprehensive set of proposals, based on the priorities set out by K-12 locals and the provincial bargaining survey. In opening the talks, the committee had a clear message for what needs to be accomplished in this round bargaining.

“School support staff have done an exceptional job keeping our schools clean, healthy, and open for students during the pandemic, in particular for the children of emergency support workers, and vulnerable students,” says Paul Simpson, president of the K-12 Presidents Council and chair of the bargaining committee.  “But after two years, support staff are now exhausted and need meaningful solutions to their urgent issues. The top issue among them – the need for fair and reasonable wages that recognize the vital role school support workers play in our communities.”

The first meetings were very productive, with constructive and cooperative discussions on a wide range of issues. Both committees voiced a strong desire to reach an agreement at the table that will lay the groundwork for a successful local bargaining to follow across the province.

The bargaining committees will be meeting again next week for another three days, and then again March 1 – 3. The K-12 bargaining committee will be sending out regular bulletins as negotiations progress. Watch for them at bcschools.cupe.ca, directly from your local, and on our social media – @cupek12bc.

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