CUPE 441 members ratify agreement, ending strike

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 members voted to accept the tentative agreement at a ratification meeting on Sunday afternoon. CUPE members will be back in classrooms as schools reopen Monday morning.

The agreement includes general wage increases of two per cent in each year of the three-year contract as per the Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA).

The union and employer were able to bring CUPE 441 members to, or significantly closer to, wage parity within the region.

The Local and District will establish a recruitment and retention working group that will meet on a regular basis.

CUPE 441 President Dean Coates thanked the bargaining committee for their hard work and the community for their strong support.

“We could not have reached this agreement without the backing of this community,” said Coates. “We commit to working with the School District to build a relationship of respect moving forward.”

Coates said that members are excited to get back into classrooms and work with the students they support.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services in Saanich schools.  Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63.

View photos of the strike here.

CUPE 441 and School District 63 reach tentative agreement

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 and School District 63 have reached a tentative agreement. Members will be holding a ratification meeting on Sunday to vote on the agreement signed by both parties Saturday morning. In a show of good faith, picket lines will come down and schools will be open on Monday.

“This strike has been difficult and we are pleased to have an agreement that the bargaining committee is recommending to our membership for acceptance,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “I’d like to thank our members, parents, teachers and the community for their support throughout, and the District for their commitment to Saanich schools and students.”

CUPE 441 will not be commenting on any details of the tentative agreement until after the ratification vote is completed.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 took job action on October 28 and have been on strike for three weeks.

CUPE 441 calls on District to get back to the table

SAANICH – CUPE 441 is calling on the District to return to the bargaining table.

“I am disappointed that we did not hear back from the District after our offer to get back to the table on Thursday,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “Our bargaining team was available, ready, and able to bargain all weekend, but the District did not respond.”

The CUPE 441 bargaining committee has developed a document highlighting their concerns with the employer’s offer that is available online at 441.cupe.ca.

“Our members want to get back to classes to support our students,” said Coates. “The whole community understands the importance of wage parity and we need the employer to find a way to make this work. We need to end this strike and get students back in class.”

CUPE 441 members have been on strike since October 28. The outstanding issue remains as wage parity. Picket lines will remain up at all schools.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

Parents rally in support of striking CUPE members

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 members are being joined on the picket line this morning by parents and their children. The community group “Families Rally to Support CUPE 441” have organized the event on Facebook. They will be holding a rally and walking the picket lines with CUPE members this morning from 9 to 11 am at Brentwood Bay School and at Sidney Elementary this afternoon from 12:15 to 2:45 pm.

The group has hosted a petition on change.org that has garnered almost 1,300 signatures.

“Parents are standing with us because they want their children to get the education they deserve,” said Coates. “Until we address wage parity, our district will continue to lose people and be a training ground for EAs who then move to neighbouring districts, leaving Saanich understaffed.”

Coates has asked the employer to return to the table and address low wages for all members in the local.

Members of CUPE 441 reviewed highlights of the agreement at a membership meeting on Wednesday and gave clear direction to the bargaining committee that they wanted to continue job action until full wage parity is achieved.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 took job action on October 28 over the issue of wage disparity. Today marks the tenth day of their strike.

CUPE 411 K-12 support workers in SD33 reach tentative agreement through mediation

CHILLIWACK — CUPE 411, K-12 support workers, reached a tentative agreement with School District 33 on November 6. The parties had 18 bargaining sessions as well as two sessions with Mediator Grant McArthur since bargaining began in April.

“We are pleased that mediation helped us reach an agreement, so we are able to meet the Provincial Framework Agreement deadline,” said First Vice President Tracey O’Hara.

O’Hara noted that bargaining was challenging and frustrating at times and the committee worked hard on behalf of CUPE 411 members to get the best deal possible for their members.

“Restrictions and limitations in this bargaining process created a significant barrier in our bargaining team’s ability to make any substantial gains for our members. We would not have gotten there without mediation,” said O’Hara.

The Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) approved by the K-12 Presidents Council in September forms part of the tentative agreement. The current K-12 agreement expired 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. This agreement brings the number of CUPE locals who have reached agreements to 55, with two locals remaining.

Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties. Ratification will be completed by the end of November.

CUPE Local 411 members provide a wide variety of services that support students, in five divisions that include Transportation, Clerical, Custodial, Maintenance, and a wide variety of positions that fall into the Assistance division.

The local represents more than 850 K-12 support workers in School District 33.

Talks break off between CUPE 441 and School District 63

SAANICH – Bargaining broke off late last night after three days of the latest round of negotiations between CUPE 441 and School District 63.

“I am disappointed that we did not reach an agreement that the bargaining committee felt they could recommend to members,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “Our efforts to be creative and move toward the employer’s position were not reciprocated and the employer would not add any additional funding.”

The local will not be discussing details of the agreement until they have provided information about the package to their members and gotten their direction at a closed CUPE 441 meeting today.

CUPE 441 members have been on strike since October 28. The outstanding issue remains as wage parity. Picket lines will remain up at all schools.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 and School District 63 heading back to table today

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 will be bargaining with the School District this afternoon following an informal meeting this morning between a District representative and CUPE 441 President Dean Coates.

“Both parties recognize how difficult this strike has been for families and students in Saanich, as well as for our members and teachers,” said Coates.

A location is being determined and the parties will meet this afternoon.

“Local 441 is committed to working hard to reach a deal that meets the needs of our students and members so that we can be back in classes this Monday,” said Coates.

CUPE 441 will not be making any media comment during bargaining.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 took job action on October 28 over the issue of wage disparity and have been walking the picket lines for five days.

CUPE 3500 K-12 support workers reach tentative agreement

KAMLOOPS — CUPE 3500, K-12 support workers at School District 73 (Kamloops/Thompson) reached a tentative agreement October 30 following 11 sessions of bargaining that began on June 18.

“I’m really proud of the work our bargaining committee has done and I want to thank them for all their time and commitment,” said CUPE Local 3500 President Nicole Edmondson, noting that the committee bargained throughout the summer even though many of them do not work then.

Edmondson said that negotiations with the employer were respectful and that the bargaining committee appreciated their willingness to work with the bargaining committee on behalf of CUPE 3500 members.

The tentative agreement also incorporates the provincial framework agreement approved by the K-12 Presidents Council in September. The current K-12 agreement expired on June 30, 2019. When ratified by CUPE locals and school district Boards of Trustees, the collective agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties. Ratification is expected to be completed by the end of November. This agreement brings the number of CUPE locals who have reached agreements to 54, with three locals remaining.

CUPE 3500 members, who provide a wide variety of services that support students, include Bus Drivers, Education Assistants, Indigenous Support Workers, Custodians, Trades, Clerical, Maintenance, IT, and Administrative Support. The 800 CUPE members provide K-12 support services to students in SD73 (Kamloops/Thompson) from Logan Lake to Blue River and Chase to Savona.

Saanich K-12 workers strike over wage disparity

SAANICH – After two failed attempts at mediation, K-12 support staff in School District #63 walked off the job this morning. The union served 72-hour strike notice on Wednesday, October 23 but had hoped that the parties would have gone back to the table and negotiated a deal that addressed longstanding wage parity issues.

Following the bargaining committee’s rejection of the employer’s offer, CUPE 441 sought mediation to reach a deal but the two sessions were unsuccessful.

“We have let the employer know that we are available around the clock to sit down and come to a settlement,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “We are disappointed to be on strike, but we need to gain fairness for our members.”

The two sides remain unable to reach a settlement after seven months at the bargaining table.

“Our members go to work every day to ensure that students in our schools are safe and thrive,” said Coates. “We really appreciate the support shown to our members by the Saanich Teachers’ Association, parents and the general public.”

CUPE 441 represents almost 500 K-12 support staff including Education Assistants, Clerical, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades, and District Support workers in SD #63.

Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

CUPE 411 talks go to mediation November 5 and 6

CHILLIWACK — CUPE 411, representing more than 850 K-12 support workers, have mediation dates set for November 5 and 6. The BC Labour Relations Board has appointed mediator Grant McArthur to mediate contract talks between School District #33 (Chilliwack) and CUPE Local 411.

The current agreement expired on June 30, 2019. The parties have held 18 bargaining sessions since April.

CUPE 411 First Vice President Tracey O’Hara said that although the local was able to find some common ground with the School District, mediation was requested in order to meet the November 30 deadline date for the Provincial Framework Agreement.

“Our bargaining committee saw that it was time to move negotiations forward,” said O’Hara. “We hope the mediation helps us reach a timely conclusion to bargaining.”

CUPE Local 411 members provide a wide variety of services that support students, in five divisions that include Transportation, Clerical, Custodial, Maintenance, and a wide variety of positions that fall into the Assistance division.