Bulletin -September 30th – a day of Truth and Reconciliation

The federal government is recognizing September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, making it a federal statutory holiday.

The BC Government says it recognizes the importance of reflecting on the legacy of residential schools and honouring Survivors of the residential school system. The province has advised all provincial public sector employers that they should recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a holiday for 2021 – on a without prejudice basis – for all employees who are normally entitled to provincial and federal holidays.

It is important to note that the recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this year is an interim measure while the province begins engaging with Indigenous peoples, as well as labour and business communities, to determine the most appropriate way to commemorate this day going forward.

BCPSEA is advising school districts of government’s decision in this matter, and districts will be notifying employees of the upcoming holiday – September 30, 2021.

Why September 30th?

Since 2013, September 30th has been commemorated as “Orange Shirt Day”, inspired by the story of residential school Survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad.

As a young girl, Phyllis was gifted a new orange shirt by her grandmother before she was taken to a B.C. residential school. The shirt was confiscated and destroyed by her teacher on the first day of classes.

The story has come to symbolize the colonial assimilation goals of the residential school system.

CUPE members are encouraged to honour the Survivors of the residential school system by wearing orange shirts on September 30th.

Calls to Action

Establishing a national holiday commemorating the legacy of residential schools was one of 94 Calls to Action made in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

On this September 30th, please take the time to reflect on the Calls to Action and the truths contained in the TRC final report. The Calls to Action and the complete TRC report is available online from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

CUPE’s Walking the talk: A practical guide to reconciliation for CUPE locals is also available online with more helpful information on engaging in meaningful reconciliation. Please share these important resources with your membership so we can all do our part in reconciliation and to support Indigenous communities on their path to healing.

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Bulletin – Wrapping up the school year

Employer questions on vaccination

While the provincial immunization plan moves forward throughout the summer, we are asking all K-12 members to contact your CUPE local if your employer asks about your immunization status. If you are asked by your employer about whether you’ve been vaccinated, or if they ask for any other information regarding immunization, please contact your local who will contact your National Servicing Representative as soon as possible.

Daytime Custodial Services 

This past week CUPE welcomed the BC government’s announcement of $14.4 million in funding to support cleaning and supplies for the 2021/22 school year. While this is a step forward in helping make daytime custodial services a permanent part of the BC education system, more support is needed to continue this vital health and safety measure.

CUPE will be working over the summer to raise the profile of these vital services, the workers that provide them, and the many benefits they provide to our communities. In early August, CUPE will be holding a communications training webinar for local presidents and unit chairs to help them in sharing these messages with communities and the news media. More information on this webinar will be coming in future updates.

Health & Safety Toolkit on Violence in the Workplace

Looking ahead to the fall, CUPE and BCPSEA will be hosting a meeting in September to unveil the new K-12 Health and Safety Toolkit. Panelists Tom McKenna, CUPE Occupational Health & Safety specialist, and Hans Loeffelholz, BCPSEA sector lead for OH&S, will provide an overview of the new toolkit and answer any questions on its use in the workplace. Save the date for the meeting on September 23, 2021. – CLICK here for registration information.

ARC Summit

In May, the ARC Foundation ran the first ever Regional SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) Summits. A summit report has been released highlighting discussions of SOGI inclusive educators, 2SLGBTQ+ students, and allies, who shared their challenges and experiences.– CLICK here for the Summit Summary Report.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

We recognize awareness is a journey that we all must take to honour and fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action. Please take the time to discuss the Calls to Action and the truths contained in the TRC report. The complete TRC report is available online from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

CUPE’s Walking the talk: A practical guide to reconciliation for CUPE locals is also available online with more helpful information. Please share these important resources with your membership so we can all do our part in reconciliation and to support Indigenous communities on their path to healing through these difficult times.

This week, a new federal statutory holiday was established recognizing September 30th as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in honour of residential school survivors. As it is a federal statutory holiday, it only applies to federally regulated sectors (such as airlines).

Some CUPE collective agreements, however, do have provisions recognizing new statutory holidays, whether they are municipal, provincial, or federal. And there may be other ramifications in collective agreements. CUPE is encouraging all locals to review their collective agreement language on statutory holidays.

THANK YOU on behalf of the Presidents Council Exec. and your K-12 Co-ordinators

We’d like to thank you all for your outstanding work and dedication throughout the pandemic – in your workplaces, in our communities and in our union. Your tireless efforts, support and solidarity throughout a challenging school year are to be commended.

We will remain vigilant over the summer months to ensure our workplaces remain healthy and safe and wish you all a safe summer.

Click here for Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside’s message thanking school staff

Follow us on @cupek12bc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and visit bcschools.cupe.ca for news and resources.

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Bulletin – Good News – Now easier for School Districts to open Before- and After-School Care spaces (Seamless Day Pilot Projects and Licensing changes)

Twenty new Seamless Day pilot projects were announced in the BC government’s April budget. This is a big step forward to an integrated system of early care and learning within BC’s public education system and is in large part thanks to the hard work of so many of you in the education sector. By engaging with districts, members and supporters using the campaign website – buildseamlesschildcare.ca, and lobbying at a provincial level, CUPE was able to move the dial on this issue.

The K-12 Presidents Council is working with BCPSEA to provide a template Letter of Understanding to assist locals and employers with the implementation of the Seamless Day pilot in their districts. The template will be circulated to local presidents and staff when completed. The Ministry of Education may still be looking for districts to run pilot projects – talk to your district administrators to see if they have applied to be a part of this ground-breaking pilot project.

While the expansion of the Seamless Day is good news, there is still more to do. The Seamless Day pilots are a good first step, but they don’t come close to putting a dent in the child care crisis facing communities across BC.

BC families need a publicly delivered universally accessible system of affordable child care. If we work together, we can make it a reality.

One immediate action we can all take is to show support for the $10 a Day campaign’s call for the province to secure federal funding & fully implement the plan for affordable universal child care.

 Visit 10aday.ca to take action TODAY!

 Before- and After-School Care on School Grounds – Now Easier Than Ever

A new child care licensing category – School Age Care on School Grounds – was announced this month by the province. This change paves the way for school districts to create before- and after-school care spaces by removing the barriers to licensing existing school space for child care.

The new licensing category recognizes that since schools are safe spaces for students during the school day, they should also be deemed safe and appropriate spaces for before- and after-school care. This is a green light for school districts to start opening the school aged child care spaces BC families desperately need.

This is a significant opportunity – school districts have the space, they have the people, and now they have easy access to licensing. The only missing ingredient is a willingness to be a part of solving the child care crisis plaguing our communities. This can be accomplished in a revenue neutral way and provide more full-time work to CUPE members. It’s a win/win!

We encourage all locals to follow up with district administrators and school board trustees. If you haven’t already, it’s a good time to start a discussion about publicly delivered before- and after-school care.

If you would like support starting these discussions or building a plan to advocate for public child care in your community contact your staff rep and our child care campaign coordinator David Fleming at dfleming@cupe.ca.

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Follow us on @cupek12bc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and visit bcschools.cupe.ca for news and resources.

Bulletin #6 – Support staff job evaluation committee


Since the negotiation of the 2014-2019 Provincial Framework Agreement, a ton of work has been done on the Provincial Job Evaluation Plan. Most importantly, the plan has been piloted in two separate groups of districts.

Pilot 1 – Work Completed

The seven Pilot 1 districts completed two major rounds of work involving matching, reviewing jobs and reviewing the provincial benchmarks.

Round 1 was a first test of matching district jobs to the provincial benchmarks and produced the results shown (see Pilot Group 1: First Round of Matching)

Round 2 was a refinement of the benchmarks and rating process, and districts were responsible for two tasks.

The first task required the matching of district jobs to an appropriate benchmark which produced the results shown (see Pilot Group 1: Second Round of Matching).

The second task required a review of the ratings of the provincial benchmarks with the following outcomes:

  • The ratings and descriptions of 69 provincial benchmarks were reviewed
  • On average each district recommended changes to 19 benchmarks.

Pilot 2 – Work Completed To Date

Most recently, beginning February 2021, a great deal of work has taken place with the Pilot 2 districts/locals:

  • District/local job evaluation committee members (approximately 65 individuals) attended JE training and matching workshops
  • Each district set a deadline for completing the matching assignment and submitting results with dates ranging from beginning of March to the end of June
  • At the time of publication, 9 of 10 districts had completed the matching assignment:
    • 6 completed the assignment several weeks ahead of schedule
    • 3 completed the assignment on their scheduled due date
    • The 1 remaining district will submit their results by the end of June.
  • 459 active jobs have been matched, with 59 remaining.

Next Steps

Following receipt of data from Pilot 2, the Job Evaluation Steering Committee will finalize the provincial benchmarks and ratings and will address final modifications to the job evaluation plan, such as reviewing job matches identified by the pilot districts, rating jobs not matched, and determining point weighting. After these steps are complete, the Steering Committee will determine a process for inclusion of remaining districts and locals in the province. It is anticipated that the work on the benchmarks, ratings and plan will be completed in late Fall 2021.

Pay Adjustment Process
The 2019-2022 Provincial Framework Agreement provided a commitment that “The disbursement of available JE funds shall commence by January 2, 2020 or as mutually agreed.” The Steering Committee acknowledges that implementation of the job evaluation plan will be retroactive to January 2, 2020 within the funding provided under the PFA.

Technical Support

The Steering Committee has retained a technical support person to create a centralized data reporting and collection system for the provincial job evaluation project. This resource will save countless project hours by providing the ability for school districts to directly populate job evaluation data and otherwise providing a critical tool for effective and efficient data gathering. Once this data is compiled, the Steering Committee will be able to accurately project and communicate a timeline for JE implementation and disbursement of funds. We envision that the database developed can also be used as a tool for provincial JE in the future.


“Provincial Job Evaluation Database Application,” now that’s a mouthful! So we’re asking you to send us your suggestion for a name. We know you’ll have great ideas.

Let’s explain a bit. As the Provincial Job Evaluation project expands from seven pilot districts to seventeen and we start planning for the rollout across the province it is extremely obvious we need an easy to use database. We need a simple and robust way to manage the job data. We need to track the matching and ratings of jobs. And, we need to communicate that information back-and-forth between the districts and the Provincial Steering Committee.

It’s a complex process. We will be processing job data from sixty school districts and sixty-nine Union locals, and we estimate addressing upwards of 3,600 job descriptions. Every job will be reviewed and matched to one of the provincial benchmarks, and we estimate that potentially 5% of jobs may be unique and require a rating. That’s a lot to manage.

So, we are building an App that will streamline communications and efficiently manage all that information. It must be user-friendly, and easy and quick to use. Each district will login to the App to add, update, and match their jobs to the provincial benchmarks. The Provincial Steering Committee will access the data to confirm and review matches, and rate unique jobs.

It’s not just about data it is about making the job evaluation process easy and quick to do. The whole process will be simplified with our new App.

Be creative and tell us what name suggestion you have for the provincial App. In our next communique we’ll announce the new name and creator. And, if your suggestion is chosen, we will give you full credit embedded in the App. Your creativity will be immortalized. Send your App name suggestion to pcoombes@cupe.ca.

Provincial Job Evaluation Steering Committee Members:

Chris Losito – CUPE Staff

Jane Massy – CUPE, Local 947

Paul Simpson – CUPE, Local 379 & President of K-12 Presidents Council

Warren Williams – CUPE 15

Ranjit Bharaj – BCPSEA

Maureen Carradice – BCPSEA

Kevin Black – School District 50 (Haida Gwaii) and SD 91 (Nechako Lakes)

Royce Norum – School District 57 (Prince George)


Peter Coombes – CUPE Staff Advisor

Harpinder Sandhu – CUPE Staff Advisor

Jackie Bonsal – BCPSEA Staff Advisor

Joe Strain – BCPSEA Advisor

Committee Support:

Stephanie Loo – BCPSEA


Should you have any questions, please contact Chris Losito (CUPE) at closito@cupe.ca or Maureen Carradice (BCPSEA) at maureenc@bcpsea.bc.ca.

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Bulletin – Support Staff Initiative For Recruitment and Retention Enhancement (SSIRRE)

As part of the 2019-2022 Provincial Framework Agreement between the BC Public Schools Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the K-12 Presidents Council and Support Staff Unions, the parties committed to the Support Staff Initiative for Recruitment and Retention Enhancement (SSIRRE), a labour market study of support staff positions in the public K-12 sector.

The SSIRRE project has the following objectives:

  • Gather data of existing support staff recruitment and retention challenges and projected demand in the sector.
  • Gather data of existing offerings for applicable post-secondary programs, vocational programs and identify potential gaps in program offerings to meet projected demands.
  • Partner with post-secondary schools and vocational training providers to promote support staff positions in school districts
  • Market the support staff opportunities within the sector (e.g. Make a Future)
  • Target support for hard to fill positions

The scope of the SSIRRE project includes support staff positions employed in the public K-12 system in BC in the following six occupational categories: Clerical/HR/Finance, Custodial, Direct Student Support, Bussing, Information Technology, and Trades/Facilities/Grounds/Food, recognizing that within these categories are a diverse set of jobs with a range of qualifications.

The Parties have contracted Queenswood Consulting Group to complete the study between June 2021 to January 2022. Jane Worton, Greg Awai, or René Peloquin will be reaching out to support staff unions and support staff, as well as school district human resources and support staff managers, over the coming months.

Opportunities for participation in the project include:

  • Interviews with school district human resources and support staff managers (July-September)
  • Interviews with a sample of support staff unions (July-September)
  • Interviews with K-12 sector partner organizations (July-September)
  • Interviews with a sample of training providers for support staff positions (August – September)
  • Support staff focus groups (July and October)
  • Support staff survey (October)
  • Support staff manager and principal/vice-principal survey (October)

Draft recommendations for the project will be validated with support staff unions and school district human resource staff in late fall 2021.

If you have any questions about the project, or would like to participate, email Jane Worton, Partner, Queenswood Consulting Group jworton@queenswoodconsulting.com, or Chris Losito, CUPE K-12 Co-Coordinator closito@cupe.ca.