May 14, 2021

Bulletin - Labourers, grounds and maintenance have their say

K-12 labourers, grounds and maintenance workers shared pandemic experiences, identified and discussed their bargaining priorities, and raised concerns during the May 11 Zoom meeting.

Experiences shared with other classifications included increased workload and going from being unseen and behind the scenes, to being in the spotlight.

Pandemic experiences and challenges include:

  • safety concerns around working in crews and sharing vehicles
  • getting access to locations to do their job
  • maintaining the ventilation system and constantly changing filters added to workload
  • funds were used to purchase HVAC systems, but there is not enough equipment or the people needed to do installations over the summer
  • installing and maintaining multiple handwashing and sanitizing stations throughout schools
    added to workload
  • bus mechanics in a time crunch because of additional cleaning requirements and a shortage of staff

Members got updated on Joint Job Evaluation and plans to develop model language, and discussed the importance of local health and safety committees.

Succession planning a big issue for this group

Many commented on the aging workforce and voiced concerns about both succession planning and recruitment and retention.

Participants were joined on the call by K-12 Presidents Council executive members, local presidents and CUPE National staff.

K-12 and early learning members are encouraged to take part in this exciting opportunity to hear from others who do the same or similar work, and to share information and priorities.

StrongStart, Early Childhood Educators, and similar classifications are invited to join the conversation and share their concerns on Monday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m.


We have scheduled an additional meeting for custodians, caretakers, building service workers, and similar classifications in response to member requests. Please join us for the last call in this series.

Saturday, June 5 at 10 am

Your K-12 Presidents Council executive and CUPE National staff look forward to hearing from you.


Members are able to register for any of these upcoming calls up to and including the day of the call, before the meeting starts.

May 17  5:30 – 7:30 pm   Strong Start, ECEs, and similar classifications

May 18  5:30 – 7:30 pm   Trades

June 5  10:00 am – noon  Custodians, Caretakers, Building Service Workers, and similar classifications

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COPE 491