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BCTF Strike – Information for CUPE members

On Thursday March 1, 2012, the BCTF served notice that it will commence a three day strike starting Monday March 5, 2012. The BCTF has reached an agreement with the employer through the Labour Relations Board that will see no picket lines go up during the strike. The agreement, which the BCTF has asked CUPE to honour, means CUPE members in the K-12 sector are expected to show up to work as scheduled, but should not perform any student supervision which is teacher and administrator work. CUPE fully supports the BCTF's struggle against Bill 22 and their fight for free collective bargaining. CUPE BC President Barry O'Neill has written a letter to all CUPE members to explain the situation further. Read CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill’s letter to members here for more information. Also, you can read a joint letter from BCTF President Barry O’Neill and BCTF President Susan Lambert.

BCTF Strike – Frequently Asked Questions

If this is a strike, why are CUPE members going to work?
At the Labour Relations Board, the BCTF and the employer reached a unique agreement to ensure the strike could happen in a timely manner. The BCTF asked that CUPE members be allowed to continue their work to avoid lengthy hearings about essential services. The BCTF has asked CUPE to honour this agreement.

What if my work site has a picket line, should I cross it?
The LRB agreement states there are to be no picket lines. However, BCTF locals are staging demonstrations and leafleting activities. They should not be blocking access to work sites. CUPE members are expected to show up to work as scheduled, but not do any teacher work, including student supervision. If you have any concerns, contact your CUPE Local office. Find contact information at http://www.cupe.bc.ca/contact/cupe-locals

Why is CUPE not on the picket lines showing solidarity?
CUPE is in complete support of the teachers fight for free collective bargaining and their stand against BILL 22. However, there are no picket lines in this strike. There will be demonstrations and leafleting, but they are not picket lines. The BCTF has asked CUPE to honour this unique arrangement. CUPE members are encouraged to show their solidarity by attending rallies or demonstrations outside of their normal work hours.

What should I do at work?
You should do your job as required. If it was not your job last week, it is not your job today. CUPE members should only perform their own work during that time (i.e. catch up on outstanding work, do maintenance activities or ongoing clerical work, update files, etc.) or other meaningful work (professional development, team meetings, personal study etc). CUPE considers supervision of students during a teacher’s withdrawal of services to be struck.

Student supervision should be assigned, if necessary, to administrators and other excluded staff. Please contact your CUPE Local office immediately if you are asked to do any work beyond your normal duties. Find contact information at http://www.cupe.bc.ca/contact/cupe-locals.

As a StrongStart Worker I supervise children normally, what should I be doing?
The job of a StrongStart worker is to supervise children, accompanied by parents, ages 0-4. You should supervise the children that are normally in your program.