Highlights of tentative framework agreement with K-12 support staff unions

http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca     June 9, 2014

VANCOUVER – “Further to our announcement last night, we’re pleased to provide some details of the tentative framework agreement reached with the K-12 Presidents’ Council representing support staff unions in the public education sector, with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) having the largest membership,” said Michael Marchbank, Public Administrator of the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA).

“As the unions are speaking with their members and we are communicating with our members,we will only touch on the key highlights at this time,” said Marchbank. “This Agreement sets the framework for school districts and their support staff unions to conclude local bargaining, which we expect to wrap up with ratifications in the fall.”

The proposed agreement is for a five-year term from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019 and includes wage increases consistent with the pattern of agreements concluded in the broad public sector under the Economic Stability Mandate. In acknowledgment that support staff have been caught up in the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) strike action, they will also receive an Employee Support Grant to recognize lost wages for employees not crossing lawful picket lines established by the BCTF.

The parties have also agreed to standardize extended health benefit plans for the majority of support staff, which will provide enhanced benefits for employees while at the same time providing efficiencies for the employer. Other key areas of the tentative agreement include increased hours for education assistants, who provide vital support for the learning needs of students in our classrooms, and a commitment to a job evaluation plan to help address recruitment and retention issues.

“This is now the fourth provincial Framework Agreement negotiated between BCPSEA and the K-12 Presidents’ Council since 2006, covering approximately 34,000 employees” said Marchbank. “This success provides ample evidence that the bargaining system works — when the parties come to the table with reasonable expectations and a flexible, solution-oriented approach, negotiated agreements can be concluded that meet the interests of both employers and employees and provide important stability for all stakeholders in our public education system.”

Provincial Framework Agreement between BCPSEA and Support Staff Unions:

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