VANCOUVER—CUPE is eager to get back to the bargaining table to reach a fair and reasonable settlement. Tentative dates have been scheduled for the second week in August and CUPE representatives emphasize that a fully-funded wage increase is the solution to ending the bargaining impasse.
“CUPE education workers keep BC schools clean, safe, and inclusive,” said Colin Pawson, Chair of the CUPE BC K-12 Presidents’ Council. “The government needs to get back to the bargaining table with funded offers in order to avert more job action in the fall.”
Talks broke off earlier this spring when it was clear that the government had not given the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) any mandate to reach a settlement.
In a news release on Wednesday, July 31 the government announced that it would be replacing BCPSEA’s board with Michael Marchbank of the Health Employers’ Association of BC. CUPE expects that BCPSEA will now have a mandate to conclude bargaining with a fair provincial settlement.
It has been more than four years since the education assistants, clerical staff, trades, custodians, bus drivers and other workers represented by CUPE have received a wage increase. Virtually all of the 57 CUPE locals representing education workers have achieved a strike mandate.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents more than 27,000 education BC workers in the K-12 system.