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.


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.


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.