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.

CUPE 723 K-12 support workers ratify collective agreement

CAMPBELL RIVER — CUPE 723, K-12 support workers at School District 72 on the east coast of central Vancouver Island, ratified a collective agreement on October 19.

The local bargaining began on March 19 and a deal was reached after seven rounds of bargaining.

CUPE 723 President Andrea Craddock says the deal is just the beginning of better employment conditions for members.

“This was a challenging round of bargaining and we’d hoped to make better gains for education assistants’ hours,” said Craddock. “However, we made a start and are pleased the employer agreed to sign the request for the Job Evaluation (JE) Pilot as this will potentially bring improvements to all departments within the local.”

Craddock thanked the bargaining team for its diligence in reaching an agreement.

The agreement incorporates the provincial framework agreement approved by the K-12 Presidents Council last September. The current K-12 agreement expired on June 30, 2019.

The collective agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

CUPE 723 members, who provide a wide variety of services that support students, include instructional support staff (i.e. education assistants, Indigenous support workers), custodians, trades, maintenance, grounds, clerical, IT, administrative support, lunch-hour supervisors and child and youth care workers. They support students in Campbell River.

Mediation paves way for CUPE 409 to achieve K-12 agreement

NEW WESTMINSTER — CUPE 409, K-12 support workers, reached a new tentative agreement with SD40 (New Westminster) this week using mediation services at the Labour Relations Board.

The initial agreement reached on June 12 was ratified by the local but not accepted by the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), so it was not ratified.

“This was the same deal we signed on June 12 with some minor language amendments,” said CUPE 409 President Marcel Marsolais. “We added a Service Enhancement Day to focus on maximizing and providing improved services for students and to increase collaboration with our education partners.”

Marsolais noted that the agreement with the school district satisfies the mandate from CUPE 409 members.

“Our members were preparing to take job action and we are pleased that we avoided this through mediation,” said Marsolais. “This further emphasizes the harmonious relationship we have with the Board of Education.”

Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties. Ratification is expected to be completed on November 5. This settlement brings the number of CUPE locals that have reached tentative agreements to 53, with four locals still in the bargaining process. The deadline to reach agreement under the provincial framework agreement is November 30, 2019.

CUPE 409 represents 439 K-12 education workers in the New Westminster School District.

CUPE K-12 Local 441 serves strike notice in Saanich

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 served 72-hour strike notice to School District 63 today, following two unsuccessful mediation sessions in October. They will start job action on Monday, October 28 at 5:45 am.

“Our local is profoundly disappointed that we were unable to come to an agreement and we are available to meet with the employer any time, 24/7,” said Coates. “Our goal was always to reach an agreement that addresses members’ needs without disrupting students and families in Saanich.”

CUPE 441 President Dean Coates said that the local was unable to reach an agreement that addresses the longstanding concerns of their members. Workers in School District 63 (Saanich) have received substantially lower wages than their counterparts in Sooke and Victoria for decades and want comparable wages with other districts on the South Island.

The local bargained with the employer on six occasions and participated in two sessions with a mediator in an attempt to reach an agreement. A large number of members voted in August with an overwhelming majority voting to take job action if necessary.

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 389 K-12 workers reach tentative agreement with SD44

NORTH VANCOUVER — CUPE 389 reached a tentative agreement on Thursday, October 3 following seven bargaining sessions with School District 44 in a marathon session with both parties committed to finding common ground.

“It took a lot of effort and persistence to resist concessions,” said CUPE 389 President Cindy McQueen. “I’m proud of our members for standing strong and our bargaining committee’s commitment that led to gains rather than concessions. Both parties are pleased to jointly recommend ratification.”

The K-12 Provincial Framework Agreement was approved by the K-12 Presidents Council in September and 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.

Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties, expected to be completed by the end of October.

CUPE 389 represents 1,100 K-12 workers in North Vancouver at SD44. CUPE 389 members, who provide a wide variety of services that support students, include Education Assistants, Bus Drivers, Youth Engagement Workers, Indigenous Support Workers, Custodians, Trades, Clerical, Maintenance, IT, and Administrative Support. The composite local also represents workers at the City and District of North Vancouver, public libraries in the City and District, North Vancouver Recreation Commission, Northlands Golf Course, and the Village of Lions Bay.