Good Evening Members,
On the evening of Tuesday, April 13, 2021 our Employer, School District No.33 (Chilliwack) presented their 2021-2022 Budget at the “Public” Board of Trustees meeting. For those of you that were not able to attend this on-line presentation the details can be found on the District’s website. CUPE Local 411 is facing $384,070 in cuts to support staff jobs at the Secondary level, and it is worth noting that our Employer has now put the staffing decisions on the shoulders of the various School Principal’s.
It is important to know that there has only been a 12% increase in permanent CUPE members since 2015, while in some of the departments at the District office there been an 80% increase in excluded staffing positions. The Union finds it quite shameful that this Employer is cutting services at the direct point of contact to students, while refusing to trim the fat in their own departments; all while shifting the blame to staffing cuts to the administrative team at the sites. It was also noted that absenteeism is costing the District upwards of six million dollars annually, but instead of addressing what the Union believes to be one of the contributing factors to this (i.e., Violence in the Workplace), we see very little effort being made to deal with this systemic issue.
As a result of this latest announcement your Union is advising members right now to stop performing work outside the scope of your job descriptions and to stop performing any unpaid work unless you are being directed by your immediate supervisor to do either. If you are being directed to perform work outside your job description or without pay you need to contact a Shop Steward immediately so that the Union can file a grievance against this Employer.
Please keep in mind that the Employer or their representatives are not permitted to threaten, coerce, or intimidate members into doing work for free, hazardous work, or work that is not within the scope of their job description. Nor are they permitted to continue to increase workloads, decrease staffing, and then bring in volunteers. This type of practice is considered to be contracting out which is not permitted under our collective agreement. If you feel you are being singled out because you are standing up for your rights, please keep track of specific details such as who said what, where and when, or if you feel you are being targeted (i.e., arbitrary changes to your work assignment, being directed to work without a Staff Safety Plan in place, etc.) then we want to hear about it. The Union will not tolerate our members being bullied into submission or deliberately put in harms way; we are quite prepared to start filing grievances where appropriate.
For the last two years your Union has attempted to build and grow respectful working relationships with our Employer and their representatives, and while there are some members of the Employers team that see the value in this, it has become evident that others do not, and they would prefer to take an adversarial approach in working with the Union. While the Union finds this most unfortunate, we have no choice but to proceed in a manner that supports our members rights and entitlements as we are not prepared to give up or ignore what those before us fought so hard to achieve.
You Union has created a “Feedback” section on the home page of our website, and we would encourage members to access this and assists us in identifying where these problem areas are so that we can formally address them. Members are also reminded to check their personal emails on a weekly basis as we have been sending out sensitive correspondence using this medium.
Members with immediate concerns or pressing questions can contact the Union Office via phone at 604-392-1411 or email email@example.com.
CUPE 411 Executive