Bulletin – Standing in Solidarity with BCGEU

Late last week, the BC Government and General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) issued strike notice on behalf of their members who work in the provincial public service.

Yesterday, they began picketing at four liquor distribution centers: one in Victoria, one in Kamloops and two in the Lower Mainland. They are striking for better wages and cost of living protections, both critically important given increasing costs we are all experiencing.

Our own provincial bargaining, as the K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee, is still set to resume September 13-15. We expect at that time to resume negotiations to achieve a new provincial framework that improves the wages and benefits of school support workers and allows us to provide the best possible services to students in British Columbia.

We encourage locals and members to show their support for striking BCGEU members. You can do this by sending messages of support or joining a picket line.

Currently the BCGEU is taking job action at these sites:

Delta Distribution Centre (DDC) – 7003 72nd Street, Delta, B.C.
Kamloops Distribution Centre (KDC) – 9881 Dallas Drive, Kamloops, B.C.
Richmond Distribution Centre (RDC) – 3389 No 6 Rd, Richmond, B.C.
Victoria Wholesale Customer Centre – 2291 Government Street, Victoria, B.C.

If the BCGEU escalates job action to additional job sites, CUPE will be informed and pass that information on to members.

Updates on BCGEU bargaining can be found at https://www.bargainingbc.ca/

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Bulletin – Thank you to all school support workers

With summer upon us, the K-12 Presidents Council would like to thank all school support workers for their exemplary service through another challenging school year. As the pandemic continues, your dedication and professionalism are to be commended.

Thanks to your work, students and families have been able to depend on clean and healthy schools being open and providing high quality public educations throughout this school year.

Bargaining update

We of course also thank you for your solidarity and support as we’ve been bargaining with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association towards a renewed provincial framework agreement.  We thank everyone who helped guide our bargaining priorities by taking part in our provincial bargaining survey, and for all the work being done at the local level to mobilize our members towards fair collective agreements. We also thank our provincial bargaining committee, and all of the local bargaining committees too, for their hard work and dedication.

We remain committed to continuing our bargaining with the BCPSEA.  We recently scheduled dates for a return to provincial bargaining – September 13-15, 2022.

We remain hopeful a provincial framework agreement centred on a fair wage settlement can be reached that reflects the value and importance of our work to students, families, and communities.

In the meantime, K-12 locals are encouraged to continue preparing for local bargaining and building member mobilization efforts in support of our bargaining committees. CUPE continues to work closely with our union allies to achieve fair contracts for all public sector workers, who have been on the frontlines serving our province every day throughout the pandemic.

New video highlighting our work

The K-12 Presidents Council is also pleased to be releasing a new video highlighting the work our members do in school districts across the province. Produced with support from the national union, this 2-minute animated video shows the many crucial jobs our members do, and how important they are to providing quality public educations for students in B.C.

You can watch this new video on our website bcschool.cupe.ca, and on our social media channels – @CUPEK12BC. Please share this video in your communities.

Radio ads

During June, the K-12 Presidents Council has been running radio ads throughout B.C., shining a light on the invaluable work our members do in communities across the province. The radio ad, being carried in every community with a local represented in the K-12 Presidents Council, highlights the crucial role school support workers play for students and families, and the challenges facing our members.

You can hear the ad on your local radio stations, and it is posted on our Facebook page – facebook.com/CUPEK12BC. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbours.

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Bulletin – Support Staff Job Evaluation Committee


The Provincial Joint Job Evaluation Program was first initiated during bargaining of the 2014-2019 Provincial Framework Agreement, which was renewed in 2020. The purpose of the Provincial Job Evaluation Plan is to implement and maintain a standardized method of measuring and classifying support staff jobs across BC public school districts. The provincial plan will eventually replace the various local plans once fully implemented.

Phase 2

Testing is nearly complete. This phase involved developing and refining tools and processes for matching local job descriptions with benchmarks across 17 pilot school districts.

Phase 3

Job matching and data gathering, by far the largest phase of the project, is now underway. This phase involves using the job matching tools and processes for the remaining 43 school districts.

Training for school districts on job matching tools and processes has commenced. As of March 31, 2022, training has been completed for the local joint job evaluation committees of the 23 school districts determined to be ‘Ready Now’. These local job evaluation committees are now working on matching local job descriptions to provincial benchmarks.

Over the coming months, the Support Staff Job Evaluation Committee will work with the local joint job evaluation committees of the 20 remaining school districts to prepare them for training beginning September 2022.

Concurrent with job matching and data gathering work, during Phase 3, the Support Staff Job Evaluation Committee will be finalizing the Provincial Job Evaluation Plan and developing an implementation plan. Details of Phase 4: Implementation have yet to be determined.

The Committee has targeted December 2023 as the end date for Phase 3. The project will then move into Phase 4.


Why is this work important?

The outcomes of the project will improve equity and consistency in evaluating K-12 support staff jobs across BC public schools districts and locals.

What benefits will be achieved as a result of this project?

An undertaking of this nature is complex and significant. This work will not only address differences in job evaluation practices province-wide, but will also establish best practices and equity for the future. The entire sector benefits when there is consistency and clarity.

Will there be an impact on wages?

The impact on wages will be determined in Phase 4: Implementation, and will be made retroactive to January 2, 2020. It is the parties’ intention that individual incumbents will not be negatively impacted.

Joint Job Evaluation Steering Committee members:

Justin Schmid – CUPE K-12 Coordinator

Jane Massy – CUPE, Local 947

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

Warren Williams – CUPE 15

Ranjit Bharaj – BCPSEA

Chris Beneteau – BCPSEA

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

Royce Norum – School District 57 (Prince George)


Kari Scott-Whyte – CUPE Staff Advisor

Harpinder Sandhu – CUPE Staff Advisor

Jackie Bonsal – BCPSEA Staff Advisor

Joe Strain/Ingrid Van Kemanade – BCPSEA Advisor

Committee Support:

Stephanie Loo – BCPSEA


Should you have any questions, please contact Justin Schmid, CUPE, at jschmid@cupe.ca, or Joe Strain, BCPSEA, at joestrainprovje@gmail.com.

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Bulletin – Paid sick leave for all K-12 members

All workers in the province are now provided with five days of paid sick leave off work – including unionized workers under a collective agreement – under new changes to the Employment Standards Act, as of March 31,2022. This means that all K-12 members – including casual, temporary, and probationary workers – should be entitled to paid sick leave, regardless of the language in your collective agreement.

Locals should be aware of the details of this new benefit so they can ensure employers are implementing it properly and are prepared to bring grievances when necessary.

Below are a few key items to be aware of:

  • Employees become entitled to the paid leave after 90 days of continuous employment. That calculation is based on time as an employee, rather than number of days worked. So, an employee hired in early September would become eligible for sick leave starting in early December of that year, regardless of how many shifts are worked in that time.
  • Each employee is entitled to five paid days per ‘calendar year.’ Those days are not pro-rated based on when an Employee begins work. So, an employee who is hired in the latter half of a year would still be entitled to the full five days before December 31st.
  • Employees who receive an additional percentage of their wages ‘in lieu’ of benefits are also entitled to paid sick leave and will continue receiving their full ‘in lieu’ pay.
  • Pay for a sick day is calculated based on the average of the employee’s earnings over the past 30 days, excluding overtime. Note that this may be different than what an employee would have earned if they had worked their scheduled shift. In some cases, employees may be entitled to more than what they had earned if they worked the shift if, for example, in the last 30 days they had worked longer shifts, had worked in a higher paying position, or earned certain shift premiums. Unions should be ready to examine the amount paid for sick leave to ensure that it is at least the average of what the employee had recently earned.
  • Be aware that this calculation for sick pay applies to all employees – including those who had entitlements to paid sick leave under the collective agreement. For the first five sick days in the year, all employees (including regular employees) should be paid either the ‘average day’s pay’ calculation, or the normal pay under the collective agreement – whichever is greater.

If you have questions about this new benefit, please contact your steward or local representative.

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Bulletin – Updated Communicable Disease Guidelines

The Ministry of Education has issued a new update to the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings. The updates reflect current Provincial Health Officer orders and guidance from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. This update is effective Saturday April 16 to allow time for planning before the Easter long weekend.

This update continues the transition to sustainable communicable disease management. The key changes include:

Health Awareness: an updated approach to daily health checks, with a focus on students, staff and visitors staying home if they are sick. Before coming to school, everyone should be checking regularly they are not experiencing symptoms of illness (including but not limited to COVID-19 symptoms).

Space Arrangements: schools can resume to use classroom and learning environment configurations and activities that best meet learner needs and preferred educational approaches.

A focus on personal practices, including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, respect for personal space, not sharing food, beverages or other items that come in contact with the mouth, support for those who choose to use a mask, and daily health awareness.

As of April 8, school gatherings and events can return to 100 per cent capacity.

Further, as of April 8, showing the BC Vaccine Card or proof of vaccination is no longer required. However, individual businesses and organizations can choose to continue to require the BC Vaccine Card on their premises. Schools should continue to contact venues as part of event or field trip planning to understand what requirements may be in place.

Updated information is available on the COVID-19 safe schools web page.

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