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K-12 Bulletin #40 – A warm welcome to Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside

K-12 Bulletin #40 – A warm welcome to Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside

We warmly welcome Minister Whiteside and look forward to working with her to support and expand the critical work CUPE members provide.

As CUPE members throughout B.C. continue to go above and beyond to keep schools open during this pandemic, we are now working with a majority government committed to protecting and enhancing
public services. 

In the mandate letter to Minister Whiteside, Premier Horgan has asked the ministry to continue their foundational principles to put people first; equity and anti-racism; achieve B.C.’s climate goals; and support a strong and stable economy that works for everyone.

Specific to K-12, the letter also calls for progress to be made in public education. The mandate lists 11 items that include the following:

  • safety guidelines to ensure quality public education continues during and after the pandemic
  • prioritizing universal access to before- and after-school care on school grounds
  • more mental health supports for students and staff

The K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE will continue to work with the ministry and the employer association on all priorities of our K-12 members including:

  1. Reinforcing members’ health
    and safety
  2. Establishing province-wide Job Evaluation
  3. More consistency and hours for EAs
  4. Permanent day-time custodians


On behalf of our 30,000 members who support K-12 across B.C., the K-12 Presidents Council warmly welcomes Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside.

Premier John Horgan appointed former HEU secretary-business manager and chief spokesperson Jennifer Whiteside as Minister of Education yesterday.

Jennifer has a strong record of defending workers’ rights and championing social justice issues at all levels. She replaces Minister Rob Fleming who has moved to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

I would like to thank outgoing Minister Fleming for his respect and recognition of the important services CUPE members provide, and for his work on behalf of support staff, students and parents in the midst of this challenging pandemic.

We look forward to working together with Minister Whiteside as we continue our work on member safety, continuation of pay during school closures, increased hours for EAs, maintaining day-time custodians, and the many other issues in K-12.

Warren Williams
K-12 Presidents Council President

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