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

Haida Gwaii School District to bring buses in house

SANDSPIT—CUPE Local 2020 will have new members driving school buses in Haida Gwaii next school year, as School District 50 has decided not to renew its contract with private company First Student Canada and will instead bring student transportation in house.

According to the Haida Gwaii Observer, the Ministry of Education will be providing the District with three new 76-passenger buses and one new 24-passenger bus, with future replacements also covered by the provincial government. Under the new system, Haida Gwaii bus drivers will become district employees and members of CUPE 2020 starting with the 2018-19 school year.

Cost was the main issue driving the board of trustees’ vote on April 3 to bring bussing in house. Without the change, under the District’s private contract bussing for next year would have cost an estimated $605,000 for all student transportation, including field trips. The 2018 annual budget for student transportation is $581,000.

“This really is a win-win for everyone,” said CUPE 2020 President Ken Evans. “The students will have more opportunities for field trips. The District will save $200,000 a year. And, as members of our local, the drivers will earn a living wage.”

K-12 bargaining survey closes

BURNABY—A bargaining survey for CUPE K-12 members has closed and preliminary results are being tabulated.

“Thanks to all the members who took the time to respond, we received a high level of participation,” said K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams, noting that more than one in four members completed the survey. “Over the past 16 years our members took the brunt of cuts to education and they want their voices heard to improve conditions for students in B.C. schools.”

CUPE members participated through either an online or paper version of the survey.  The survey will inform the provincial and local bargaining.

Following are some of the survey results.

Violence in the Workplace:

38% of all respondents have experienced an angry or abusive encounter with a member of the public.

65% of all respondents have experienced an angry or abusive encounter with a student.

Education Assistants and violence:

85% of EAs have experienced an “angry or abusive” encounter with a student.

Affordability:

Only 22% of respondents are paying less than 30% of their income on housing (the amount that CMHC says is considered affordable).

38% are paying more than 50% of their income towards housing.

42% of respondents are working less than 30 hours a week.

Workload:

55% say that there is only sometimes, rarely or never enough time to complete their work in a day. In other words, only 45% say there is usually or always enough time to complete their work in a day.

Provincial bargaining team members have been elected in most regions and the K-12 Presidents Council has reviewed survey results to develop provincial bargaining proposals. The collective agreements for the K-12 sector expire on June 30, 2019.

K-12 Presidents Council holds three-day meeting

BURNABY – The K-12 Presidents Council met May 1 – 3 in Burnaby. CUPE BC President Paul Faoro and Secretary Treasurer Trevor Davies attended. Faoro brought greetings from CUPE BC and announced that the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education will, for the first time, have a category for “Outstanding Support.”

This category is open to support staff currently working in B.C.’s 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.”

Nominate your favourite CUPE K-12 member in the category of Outstanding Support on the BC Government web site at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/excellence-in-education#process

Nominations opened on April 23 and close on June 18. You can download a poster here.

Regular business of the council convened. K-12 Presidents received reports including the Secretary Treasurer’s Financial Report, Admin Committee, Support Staff Education and Adjustment Committee (SSEAC), Skills Enhancement, Job Evaluation and Public Employee Benefits Trust (PEBT). The Violence in the Workplace committee continues their work.

Regional reports updated members on what is happening in the regions and where regions were at in preparation for bargaining. Following a presentation on details of a cost share to raise the profile of education support workers, additional funds were approved.

CUPE Researcher Liz Blackwood reviewed preliminary bargaining survey results. K-12 Coordinators Tracey Mathieson and Rob Hewitt facilitated a discussion on proposals. K-12 Presidents Council members approved final proposals.

The group approved their draft bylaws which will now be forwarded to National for approval.

Under the current bylaws and in following the National Constitution, the Council elected their New Executive Officers: President – Warren Williams (CUPE 15); Vice President – Nicole Edmondson (CUPE 3500), Recording Secretary – Karen Wong (CUPE 3742), Secretary-Treasurer Leslie Franklin (CUPE 703), and Membership Officer – Dean Coates (CUPE 441). The membership officer will act as Sergeant at Arms, a new table officer position approved by members of the Council.

“The Council meetings were focused on bargaining – reviewing our members’ surveys, putting together our provincial proposals and our strategic planning session,” said incoming President Warren Williams. “I’d like to thank to former Chair Marcel Marsolais, Vice Chair Rod Isaac and Recording Secretary Maureen Hummel for their hard work and dedication to this Council.

“I also want to congratulate Nicole Edmondson, Leslie Franklin, Karen Wong and Dean Coates – I look forward to working together with them for the benefit of K-12 members.”

On the last day, presidents participated in a workshop on Strategic Planning.

Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

K-12 Presidents’ Council accomplishes much

The K-12 Presidents’ Council met last week in Richmond. CUPE BC President Paul Faoro spoke about the current political landscape in B.C. with the swearing in of Premier John Horgan and an NDP minority government. He encouraged presidents to read the 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus, a comprehensive document that talks about government goals and gives a roadmap for the next 4 years.

He talked about the meetings he has had to date with Minister of Education Rob Fleming; Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver; and Minister of Labour Harry Bains.

Faoro called for adequate and stable, predictable funding to be allocated in K-12 so that school districts can meet their obligations to deliver accessible, quality education – with adequate funding to include full-time hours for support staff. Legislative Coordinator Justin Schmid reported on the September budget update.

The Council discussed the National Executive Board policy on collective bargaining. The Treasurer’s Report was approved and provincial committee reports were given from the Job Evaluation Committee, Public Education Benefits Trust (PEBT), the Education Assistants Committee, and the Support Staff Education Adjustment Committee (SSEAC).

Participants were updated with regional reports from the North, Kootenays, Thompson-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, North Island and Metro. Researcher Liz Blackwood gave an update on the custodial survey preliminary results. The final tabulations are being compiled and a report will be drafted prior to the Division Convention in 2018.

New K-12 co-coordinators, Tracey Mathieson and Michael Reed, introduced themselves to the council and thanked outgoing sector coordinator Kevin Rose for his work.

The K-12 Presidents’ Council discussed upcoming bargaining and issues affecting members.

“We look forward to negotiating in 2019 with representatives from a government that truly cares about British Columbia’s public education system,” said Chair Marcel Marsolais. “Education workers have not experienced any significant wage increases since 2000 and we are concerned about the impact of 16 years of support staff cuts on the health and safety of our members, and on the quality of public education for our students.”

The K-12 Presidents’ Council passed a motion to send four representatives to the BCTF Workplace Violence Summit as observers as well as a motion to send council chair Marcel Marsolais to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. The council unanimously passed a motion to spend up to $20,000 to strike a task force to look into violence in the workplace, develop contract language, and produce tools to help reduce violence.

Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

K-12 Presidents’ Council meets

The K-12 Presidents’ Council met recently, and among other agenda items, approved the Trustees’ report for 2015/16 and elected members to fill vacant executive positions.

Rod Isaac (CUPE 411, Chilliwack) was elected vice chair and Leslie Franklin (CUPE 703, Maple Ridge) treasurer. Ann Purvis (CUPE 440, Kimberley, Invermere and Golden) was acclaimed for a three-year term as trustee. Elected to serve on the bylaws committee were Daphne Ross (CUPE 476, Powell River) and Karen Wong (CUPE 3742, Prince George).

CUPE BC President Paul Faoro talked about the importance of the Provincial election. Leading up to the election on May 9, CUPE BC is hosting a telephone town hall with its 85,000 members and John Horgan. Faoro recalled being in Victoria recently, doing analysis of the 2017 BC Liberal budget, and seeing that funding for private schools was getting a larger percentage increase than the public K-12 system. “That will seal the deal” for many against the BC Liberals, he said.

When the NDP platform is released, added Faoro, members will clearly see who shares their values. “At the end of the day, I know that when members look at Platform A and Platform B they will choose the platform of the BC NDP as the one they want to mark an ‘X’ for.”

Faoro itemized some of the commitments the NDP had already made including $10/day child care, eliminating MSP premiums, reinstating the BC Human Rights Commission, building a new patient care facility in Kamloops, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If we stand together we are a strong force,” said Faoro. “It’s not going to solve all our problems on May 9 but things will improve a lot with a government that we can actually talk to, that shares the same vision as we have on public services, and communities, and looking after people.”

CUPE Regional Director Robin Jones talked about the custodial survey distributed at the meeting. “The timing is right, it’s a righteous issue and it will increase our visibility,” said Jones, noting that the survey is an important tool to identify the issues that custodians face in their work. It is anonymous, and CUPE is encouraging all custodians to participate. Many presidents took hard copies of the surveys back with them.

Motions were presented and fully discussed. The Council also heard about the upcoming BC Division convention from Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Davies. Various reports were given, including an update on the Standardized Benefit Plan (Rob Hewitt); Coordinator’s Report (Kevin Rose), and Job Evaluation Committee report (Peter Coombes). Regional reports were moved to the next meeting due to time constraints.

Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

K-12 provincial job evaluation program takes next step

The Provincial Joint Job Evaluation Committee has signed off on job evaluation terms of reference, taking the next step towards implementing the job evaluation program negotiated under the Provincial Framework Agreement.

One goal of the provincial committee is to streamline the job evaluation process and make it more consistent across the board. With about 50 per cent of school districts reporting, there are already 2,000 different job descriptions, which reflect the diversity of services provided by K-12 support staff (and highlight the need for job evaluation).

With the new system, the Committee and Job Evaluation Representative Peter Coombes hope to have only a few hundred provincial job descriptions.

The Provincial Joint Job Evaluation Committee plans to roll out a pilot job evaluation in each of B.C.’s seven K-12 regions by 2019.

Welcome to the CUPE BC K-12 bargaining site

Welcome to the CUPE BC K-12 bargaining site

The K-12 Presidents’ Council represents 57 CUPE locals in school districts across British Columbia.

CUPE represents more than 27,000 education workers including: Education Assistants, School Secretaries, Caretakers, First Nations Support Workers, IT Workers, Strong Start Facilitators, Trades and Maintenances Workers, and Bus Drivers.

We strive to protect quality public education for all.