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December 3, 2013

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CUPE Local 523 averts strike, no further job action in Okanagan schools

OKANAGAN-Education workers in the Okanagan will not be going on strike. CUPE Local 523 and the employers of School District 53 (Okanagan Similkameen), School District 67(Okanagan Skaha), and School District 83(North Okanagan Shuswap) reached a tentative agreement last night.

“It was a tough round of bargaining, but ultimately both sides put their heads together to come up with a compromise avoiding further job action,” said CUPE Local 523 Bargaining Committee spokesperson Rob Hewitt.

The agreement between the union and the three school districts, which implemented the Provincial Framework Agreement providing an end rate 3.5 percent wage increase, will now be brought to a vote of CUPE Local 523 members for ratification.

“Our members wanted a fair deal,” said Hewitt. “We achieved a reasonable wage adjustment, while protecting workers’ benefits.”

Across BC, 48 our 57 CUPE Locals have concluded bargaining. CUPE education workers have ratified 25 agreements, with 23 more settled and awaiting ratification votes. Nine CUPE bargaining tables remain open and have yet to reach a settlement.

The remaining CUPE K-12 Locals still without a collective agreement are Local 389 in School District 44 (North Vancouver), Local 561 in School District 43 (Coquitlam), Local 727 in School District 70 (Alberni), Local 748 in School District 8 (Kootenay Lake), Local 779 in School District 48 (Sea to Sky), Local 2298 in School District 92 (Nisga’a), Local 2769 in School District 84 (Vancouver Island West), Local 3234 in School District 87 (Stikine), and Local 3500 in School District 73 (Kamloops/Thompson). 

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