CUPE BC and education partners stand up for students

CUPE joins Minister of Education Rob Fleming and other education partners to stand up for learning environments where all students are free of discrimination. The joint statement, issued on Saturday, commits to ensuring that all schools in B.C. provide an environment “where all students feel safe, accepted, respected and welcome regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background.”

Read the complete statement.

“The K-12 Presidents Council strongly supports this statement as our members work every day to ensure that students learn in safe and inclusive school environments,” said CUPE K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams. “Any form of discrimination should not be tolerated in B.C. schools.”

K-12 Presidents Council approves provincial framework agreement

RICHMOND — The K-12 Presidents Council voted this week to recommend the provincial framework agreement negotiated with the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) in mid-July. CUPE locals will table the provincial framework agreement with their proposals in bargaining with their respective school districts.

“I’d like to thank the provincial bargaining committee for their hard work and dedication that helped us reach this agreement,” said K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams. “Support workers in K-12 provide services that students in B.C. schools rely on every day.”

The agreement includes benefit increases and language that helps address workplace issues and includes support for local bargaining.

The current K-12 agreement expires on June 30, 2019. When ratified by CUPE locals and school districts, the provincial agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

CUPE, school and community: growing together

When Princeton teacher, Shirley Low, developed a project for her Grade 3 social studies class on mapping ten years ago, no one had any idea what it would grow into. The class embraced the project to create a plan for a community garden and then wanted to actually build it.

Gardening angels like CUPE member Marie Anne Roche, school secretary at John Allison Elementary, also helps out by doing financial accounting for the garden.

“We couldn’t do this without the help of CUPE members,” said recently-retired teacher, Shirley Low, who is still active in the garden. “They’re half the hands in the garden.”

Right from the beginning, CUPE members were involved and active in making the project a success, volunteering their time and making donations. CUPE member and school secretary, Marie Ann Roche, does the garden’s financial books. Education assistant, Leslie Kemp, collects organic waste from classrooms and takes interested students out to the garden during her lunch break. They add the collected organics to the garden compost and spend time watering and weeding. CUPE 847 President, Lynda Hodgson, head custodian at the school, donates compost from her ranch.

CUPE maintenance worker, Mark Howarth, is also integral to the garden. He takes care of the irrigation and blows out the lines in the fall so they don’t freeze, clears the snow from the garden entrance to keep it accessible in the winter, and helps clean up and maintain things throughout the year.

“Without the community and all the help from volunteers who work at our school, this wouldn’t have come together,” said Low.

Members of the community were part of the garden from the early planning stage. The community, CUPE members, and parents got involved to help the kids raise money, donate goods and services, and then build the garden.

Healthy Living

“We’re really interested in healthy living. With the garden, we teach children how to plant, grow, and eat healthy,” said Low. “It’s all part of healthy living.”

Focusing on healthy living developed into “Kitchen Kids”, a program for students to learn how to cook the food they harvest. Low has produced and sold four cookbooks to help fund the garden.

The John Allison Community/School Garden, situated beside the K-3 school in Princeton, has flourished to include individual plots for each class and Strong Start, plus an outdoor classroom area where Mason bees thrive and children learn about the bees’ role in food production.

Garden Angels

The school recruits “gardening angels” from the community, including CUPE members, who come in during the summer and take care of one of the plots – pulling weeds and watering, as well as harvesting what’s ready. Each gardening angel takes one class during the school year and teaches students how to garden, from preparing the soil and planting, right up to the harvest.

As part of the school’s gardening club activities, kids come in and Low or one of the gardening angels tours them around the garden, where they taste all the food. Low notes that kindergarteners really like the chives and strawberries.

Each fall the school hosts a Harvest Celebration. Garden produce is harvested and Kitchen Kids cook up a big batch of butternut squash soup for the school and the community to enjoy.

CUPE 847 President Lynda Hodgson commenting on the garden’s impact on children like her grandson, who attended John Allison Elementary, said, “It’s amazing how aware of food the children become. It’s exciting to them that they grew the food, cooked it, and then got to eat it.”

View the photo gallery here.

 

K-12 Presidents Council meets on June 21 to discuss framework agreement

RICHMOND — The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) presented the provincial framework agreement for recommendation to the CUPE K-12 Presidents Council.

The Council did not endorse the provincial framework agreement.

“The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee will be meeting in the near future to discuss next steps,” says K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams.

The tentative agreement was reached between the CUPE K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) and British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) on June 14, 2018. The current contract remains in effect until June 30, 2019.

For more information about K-12, visit the website at:  bcschools.cupe.ca

K-12 PBC Bulletin 6

K-12 sector reaches tentative agreement with BCPSEA

VANCOUVER — A tentative agreement was reached between the K-12 Provincial Bargaining Council (PBC) and the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) late Thursday evening on a provincial framework agreement for K-12 support staff.

The three-year agreement takes effect on July 1, 2019 and remains in effect until June 30, 2022.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • General wage increases of 2% in each year of the three-year contract
  • Language on violence in the workplace
  • Establishment of a Joint Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Taskforce
  • Right to refuse unsafe work language is now included in the agreement
  • Establishment of a Provincial Labour Management Committee
  • A skills enhancement fund
  • There is funding for local bargaining as part of the agreement

“The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Council and BCPSEA worked hard to reach this tentative agreement,” says K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams. “We were able to attain gains that strengthen our local bargaining ability and address some of the issues that are most important to our members.”

Further details on the tentative agreement will not be made public until CUPE K-12 members have the opportunity to review them. Once endorsed by the K-12 Presidents Council, it will form the provincial agreement portion of proposals that will go forward in local bargaining between CUPE locals and their respective school districts.

K-12 sector reaches tentative agreement with BCPSEA

The K-12 Presidents Council executive board is pleased to announce that a tentative agreement was reached between the K-12 Provincial Bargaining Council (PBC) and the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) late Thursday evening on a provincial framework agreement. The three-year agreement takes effect on July 1, 2019 and remains in effect until June 30, 2022.

Highlights of the agreements include:

  • General wage increases of 2% in each year of the three-year contract
  • Language on violence in the workplace
  • Establishment of a Joint Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Taskforce
  • An OH&S evaluation to be conducted at each K-12 worksite (1,367 in total)
  • Right to refuse unsafe work language is now included in the agreement
  • Establishment of a Provincial Labour Management Committee
  • A skills enhancement fund
  • Additional funds have been committed to continuing the implementation of a province-wide, gender-neutral job evaluation program
  • For the first time in almost 20 years, there is new money for local bargaining as part of the agreement
  • Plus other language improvements

“The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Council and BCPSEA worked hard this week,” says K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams. “We were able to attain gains that strengthen our local bargaining ability and address some of the issues that are most important to our members.”

Further details on the tentative agreement will not be made public until CUPE K-12 members have the opportunity to review them. Once endorsed by the K-12 Presidents Council, it will form the provincial agreement portion of proposals that will go forward in local bargaining between CUPE locals and their respective school districts.

K-12 PBC Bulletin 5

Provincial bargaining update

VANCOUVER – CUPE K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) and British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) had a long day of bargaining today that included some encouraging movement from both tables.

Discussions will resume again early Thursday morning.

“I am optimistic on the direction that bargaining is going,” says K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams.

We encourage members to continue to be updated through our website: bcschools.cupe.ca.  

Eng K-12 PBC Bulletin 4

Provincial bargaining continues

VANCOUVER — The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) continued for another day of bargaining together with the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA).

The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) found today to be a challenging and long day.  Some of the discussions were focused on Violence in the Workplace, Job Evaluation, Training, and the Support Staff Learning Improvement Fund (SSLIF).

“I’m proud of our committee for sticking to its principles,” said K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams.

Find bargaining updates and additional information on the updated K-12 website at:
bcschools.cupe.ca

Eng K-12 PBC Bulletin 3

Nominations for K-12 award extended to June 30

The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, for the first time ever, include a category for support staff in public schools. Nominations have been extended and now close on June 30.

The “Outstanding Support” category is open to support staff currently working in the K–12 public school system (i.e. bus drivers, crossing guards, student supervisors, educational assistants, aboriginal support workers, custodians, maintenance, and clerical).

The Premier’s Award is an opportunity for government to recognize “the enormous contribution of education professionals who go above and beyond to make life better for students in B.C.”

Get more information and nominate your favourite CUPE K-12 member in the category of Outstanding Support on the BC Government web site.

 

K-12 ready for provincial bargaining

BURNABY – Provincial bargaining dates have been set and the K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) is prepared to start bargaining.

CUPE locals are participating in training sessions set up in their respective regions to get ready for these negotiations. Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

The K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee (PBC) met on May 22 and 23 in Burnaby to review survey results and develop proposals incorporating members’ issues and concerns raised through the provincial bargaining survey. One in four members from throughout B.C. participated in the survey that provided valuable input.

“The PBC is a group of dedicated members that collectively have many years of knowledge and experience,” said K-12 PBC President Warren Williams. “They will undoubtedly serve the members of our sector well as we continue to prepare for and begin provincial bargaining.”

The provincial bargaining committee was elected from all regions of B.C. and will meet with representatives of BCPSEA (British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association) to develop bargaining protocols.

Williams said that the PBC remains dedicated to achieving the best possible agreement for the K-12 Presidents Council and all K-12 support staff. The current contract for K-12 support workers expires in June 2019.

For more information including a list of PBC members, please visit our updated website at bcschools.cupe.ca.

English K-12 PBC Bulletin 1

French K-12 PBC Bulletin 1