District welcomes agreement with support workers

B.C. Public School Employers' Association, including North Okanagan-Shuswap School District, reaches agreement in principle with CUPE

  • Dec. 24, 2011 10:00 a.m.

There could be labour peace among support workers and the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has reached an agreement in principle with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“We are very pleased to have a successful conclusion to this part of the bargaining process,” said Bobbi Johnson, North Okanagan-Shuswap board chairperson.

“Our CUPE employees, which includes school district employees such as trades people, certified education assistants, bus drivers, custodians, technicians, clerks, secretaries and other support workers, are an integral part of making our schools a great place for children to learn and it’s good to know the broad strokes are complete and a contract may soon be in place.”

The district will now conclude local bargaining.

“We look forward to engaging in similarly constructive discussions with CUPE local 523 to complete local issues,” said Johnson.

School districts and local support staff unions that conclude collective agreements before Feb. 29 will be able to include the framework agreement in their collective agreement.

“In addition to the continuation of key policy discussions, the framework agreement also confirms the commitment that $7.5 million a year of the $165 million class organization fund announced by the minister of education in October 2011 to deal with complex classroom issues will be focused on education assistants,” said Johnson.

“Confirmation of this commitment recognizes the critical role education assistants and special education assistants perform in our district’s classrooms.”