Category Archives: cupe k-12

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:

Cupe BC K-12 Bargaining Update: BCTF has announced escalation of their strike action commencing June 16, 2014

June 13, 2o14  http://bcschools.cupe.ca

The BCTF has announced escalation of their strike action commencing June 16, 2014.

Monday, June 16th, 2014 will be province wide activity.  Teachers will hold ‘study sessions’.  There will be no picket lines.  Support staff must report to work in the absence of picket lines.

Commencing Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 a full scale strike will begin in all Districts in the province.  Picketing hours will vary.  Local Teacher Associations determine the times picket lines will be in place. 

Support staff should not cross picket lines if they are in place.  If there is no picket line when you arrive at work, you must report for duty.

Support staff is reminded we have a binding collective agreement in place.  The Provincial Framework Agreement has not been ratified.  Although that agreement will provide wage protection in the event of picket lines that does not mean support staff do not have to report for duty and work when picket lines are not present.  In the absence of picket lines support staff must report for work as usual.

Regarding what to do if you report to work and a picket line is subsequently erected, please see the excerpt of a bulletin put out by BCPSEA to all Districts which reads as follows:

11.    A picket was established after support staff had commenced their shift. Do they receive the ESG grant if they stop working because of the picket?

While we do not agree that employees have the right to “down tools” to respect a picket line, if their shift has already commenced, on a without prejudice basis BCPSEA, advises the following:

Scenario one:

Support staff commence work in the morning and a picket is erected a short time afterwards (e.g., 30 minutes after the start of shift). Support staff stop working, leave to respect a picket line, and do not return to work for the rest of their shift.

The employee will receive no pay for that day (including the example of 30 minutes worked) through the regular payroll run. Instead, the employee will receive pay for the full scheduled shift from the ESG (once the local agreement is ratified). On a case by case basis there will be consideration for an employee who works a significant portion of their shift prior to pickets being erected.

Scenario two:

Support staff commence their shift and a picket is erected at recess and/or lunch. Support staff stop working and leave to respect a picket line. They return to work as scheduled for the time between recess and lunch as well as after lunch

The employee will receive pay for the full shift through regular payroll. Therefore there will be no payment received from the ESG.

Note: Essential Service Orders may determine that some employees’ work is deemed essential over recess or lunch (where normally scheduled), in which case they also are paid as per normal payroll

The full BCPSEA will be issued shortly for your information.

In Solidarity,

John Horsfield & Rob Hewitt

CUPE K-12 Coordinators