Apr 16, 2021

K-12 Bulletin 64 - Custodians/caretakers and building maintenance check in

Custodians, caretakers, building service workers and similar classifications had a choice of two call-in times to accommodate their shift schedules on the latest Zoom calls held yesterday.

Many spoke about the impacts of ongoing cuts to custodians by the previous BC Liberal government.

Big issues for this group include workload, inadequate replacement when they are off, lack of training and orientation for new custodians, and concerns about chemicals being used in schools. Members exchanged information on the different types of spray machines districts are using for sanitation, as well as the system districts use to calculate the amount of time needed to clean the school. Some are based on square metres and others are set by time allotted to each classroom.

Talking about the pandemic, many reported significant changes to their work with increased duties and additional expectations. An example is the additional responsibility to sanitize and maintain hand washing stations that require refilling by hand.

All agreed that maintaining daytime custodians was a priority even after the pandemic. Members also discussed their bargaining priorities.

The participants, including members, presidents, K-12 Presidents Council executive and staff, joined the discussion about working during the pandemic and ongoing challenges.

We are planning to schedule another call with this classification— likely on a Saturday morning — to accommodate various shift schedules.

These Zoom calls — hosted by the CUPE K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE National staff — will continue throughout April and May.

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.

The next series of four calls for education assistants, SSWs, CEAs and similar classifications are on Tuesday, April 20 for the Okanagan and Kootenays; Thursday, April 22 for Northern B.C.; Tuesday, April 27 for Vancouver Island and in island communities, and Thursday, April 29 for EAs in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

How to register      

Each call has a unique Zoom link which will take you to a separate registration form. You must register for each call you wish to attend. You will receive an email with your call information after you register. If you have any problem, please email: [email protected]

April 20    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in the Okanagan and Kootenays

April 22    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in Northern B.C.  

April 27    5:30 – 7:30 pm  Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working on Vancouver Island and in island communities

April 29    5:30 – 7:30 pm   Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs, and similar classifications
working in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley

May 4     5:30 – 7:30 pm     Indigenous Support Workers, Youth and Family Workers, Library Support Staff and other direct student support classifications

May 6       5:30 – 7:30 pm   Tech Support, Technicians, and similar classifications

May 11     5:30 – 7:30 pm   Labourers, Grounds and Maintenance

May 13     5:30 – 7:30 pm   Meal Program Staff & Supervisors, including noon hour, Crossing Guards & others

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

May 18     5:30 – 7:30 pm  Trades

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COPE 491