The likelihood of job action closing schools this year dropped last night as members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a tentative agreement with the province.
The agreement, which covers from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014 as the union had been working without a contract, includes a 3.5 per cent wage increase – to be funded from savings found within existing school district budgets as mandated by the province’s 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate – and a pay direct drug card for up front expenses. The agreement also “recognizes the professional role of Education Assistants through formal changes to the School Act and collective agreements”.
And the bargaining committee for CUPE, who went into the latest round of negotiations with a strike mandate from the membership, said the agreement includes no concessions for CUPE workers.
The agreement will be taken to the CUPE BC K-12 President’s Council for endorsement, after which each CUPE local will that it to their respective school districts to conclude collective bargaining.
The agreement covers 33,000 support staff represented by 69 bargaining units.