New deal ends threat of school strike
Strike action at schools across the province has been averted with the announcement of a tentative deal between the province and school support workers, according to a press release issued today.
“The provincial bargaining committee working with the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the unions representing education support staff have reached a provincial framework agreement under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate yesterday,” the release said.
As many as 33,000 unionized school support workers were preparing to walk off the job, with teachers’ unions promising to respect picket lines. The new deal with last through to June 30, 2012, but still needs to be ratified by both sides.
“The framework provides for modest wage increases of 3.5 per cent over two years, funded from savings found within existing school district budgets, as required under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate,” the release continued.
“Following local bargaining within the districts, ratification by union members and the BCPSEA board will be required to finalize the agreements. This framework agreement covers 33,000 support staff represented by 69 bargaining units, most of which are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“Settlements under the 2012 mandate are differentiated and unique across sectors and also among employers within sectors. The settlements vary based on the willingness and ability of employers and unions to fund the agreement through savings within existing budgets and/or collective agreements.
“Almost three-quarters of the people working in B.C.’s public sector now have tentative or ratified agreements settled under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. This represents half of all agreements.
“Further details on the agreement will be available today at www.bcpsea.bc.ca “