CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.7

There were a couple of pieces of language that directly affected members working in both the Facilities (Custodial and Maintenance) and Transportation Departments (Bus Drivers).

Your Union is very pleased to now have Apprenticeship language as outlined in Article 1.8 with a clear definition, and then Appendix A.3 under item number 6 which references Apprenticeship Rates and timelines.  We hope to see our Employer put to use this new language by way of taking on some of this Districts very own students who are looking at pursuing a career in the trades.

Also in Appendix A.3 Differentials and Supervision Pay, we were able to move away from set dollar amounts to percentages that are calculated from set rates of pay, thereby ensuring all those members performing such duties will continue to receive increases as wages increase.  There was also changes made to 1.(c) pertaining to the operation of equipment.

Lastly, a small change was made to Article 9.5 Bus Drivers under item (f)(i) that took effect July 1, 2020 for drivers that are transporting passengers on Saturdays and Sundays for extra curricular trips. This now means members will receive consistent compensation for the entire shift.

 

CUPE BC K-12 Update

In an attempt to keep members informed on Provincial discussions that may affect your current position here is an update on the Standardization of Credentials for Education Assistants:

As well for those members who may not have read, or were unaware of the work being done of the Funding Model for Inclusive Education this might be of interest:

Funding Model Implementation – Inclusive Education

What all of the above means in terms of Job Descriptions is still yet to be determined but there are currently ongoing discussion pertaining to the JE/JD process at both the government and local levels to standardize positions throughout K-12 in the province.  We will be sure to update members as information regarding this process is made available to us.

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.6

A small change was made to Article 5.2(a) that increased the composition to the Union’s bargaining committee by two (2) to include both the Union President as well as the CUPE National Servicing Representative, at no cost to the Employer.

With the deadline of April 5, 2021 fast approaching for members to express an interest on sitting on the Unions 2022 Bargaining Team we wanted to take a moment to provide some information that may be of interest to members considering putting their names forward.

In recent years our local has tried to focus on three primary areas of concern:

  • Job Security
  • Wages/Benefits
  • Working Conditions

Unfortunately we are no longer able to bargain wages/benefits at the local level and we are well aware this is the number one priority for the majority of our members, the best we can hope for is a strong team at the Provincial table that will be advocating for this. As such we need to turn our minds to enshrining strong language in our C.A. when it comes to our other two priorities.  This is done by taking the time to find, or draft, language that would best serve, if not all, the majority of our members.

It is also important to keep in mind that almost everything we hope to gain by way of good language will have a cost associated with it, we need to be proactive in determining that cost for both new language, or existing language should we choose to use it as a bargaining chip.

There will be training opportunities provided to the bargaining team that will take place during working hours, but there will be an expectation for some work to be done outside of the workday.  The team will also begin attending monthly coordinated bargaining meetings; this will give everyone a chance to meet and discuss issues with members from other K-12 locals in the valley; these are often held on Friday’s between 9:00am-2:00pm.  While our team will endeavour to hold meetings leading up to bargaining during work hours, there may be some times where this is not possible in which case meetings after work, or on the weekends will need to happen on your own time.

The time spent at the bargaining table with the Employer will, for the most part, be held during working hours and upon the successful completion of bargaining the team will be disbanded.

We would ask any interested members to please advise via email at unionoffice@cupe411.ca on or before April 5, 2021.  The Union will then proceed to set-up five separate Zoom Meetings, one for each division, where members will be able to vote for their chosen representative.  The goal is to have the committee established by April 15, 2021.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the Union President at 604-392-1411 (office) or 604-316-9923 (cell) for answers.

In Solidarity

 

COVID 19 – Information Update

There have been several updates from both Government and Union bodies pertaining to COVID-19 in the past several days.  Please see the various links to documents below should you wish to review the changes to existing protocols or the implementation of new ones.

 

 

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.5

The Clerical Hours Fund is the final fund from the new Service Improvement language and was created in an effort to address clerical workloads at specific times of the year.

The committee decided to allocate these funds to support enrolling sites during September and June in the following ways:

  1. Sites that have one clerical that does not work seven (7) hours a day will have the opportunity to work a full seven (7) hours per day.
  2. Sites that have one clerical will have have the opportunity to have a casual clerical assigned to their site for seven (7) hours one day per week.
  3. Sites that have multiple clerical members, but where some of those members do not work a seven (7) hour day will have the opportunity to increase their time to seven (7) hours per day.

The time being used to top-up clerical hours is for permanent members, the additional time cannot be used to put members into a position of overtime, and the increase in time is optional; members should have made their intentions clear on the letter they received from the District in June of 2020.

Should clerical have any questions or concerns about this fund we would ask that you direct them to the Union office for immediate attention.

Furthermore, we are always looking for feedback from our members, especially when it comes to new language, such as we have here with Article 22.  If you would like to share your opinions with us on any of these funds we would welcome them and ask that you contact the Union office by way of phone (604-392-1411) or email (unionoffice@cupe411.ca).

In Solidarity

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.4

The E.A. Hours Fund was also created as a result of the new Service Improvement Fund language.  The committee was able to establish a number of uses for these funds for the 2020-2021 school year:

  1. Provide every permanent Education Assistant with an additional four (4) hours of time that they can use in the following ways:
  • Attend Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, and if unable to do so take the time to review the meeting minutes and address any questions/concerns with the appropriate staff.
  • Participate in Staff Safety Plan discussions for either the creation or revision of such plans, also time to review existing plans as needed.
  • Attend site based Team meetings.

2. Support school food programs and/or after-school clubs:

  • An additional thirty (30) minutes per day is available to members who are needed for a new program or to enhance an existing one.

3. Supporting students on school buses:

  • If the need arises where a student requires additional E.A. support while being transported on either a morning and/or afternoon school bus, arrangement will be made with the appropriate district staff to accommodate the student for a set period of time.

4. Provide casual coverage for permanent members to attend various meetings.

  • For those sites that have site based meetings during a members regular shift, arrangements can be made to have a casual replacement on site so that members are able to participate in these meetings.

This fund was NOT created to cover the costs of any training that is a requirement by the District:

  • First Aid
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (a.k.a. C.P.I.)
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity
  • Respect in the Workplace
  • New Joint Committee Health & Safety

If members are being directed to use their four (4) hours of designated time for any District required training, or are being directed to use their time in such a way that does not align with the four (4) points above we ask that you please contact the Union office immediately so that we can resolve any confusion.

In Solidarity

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.3

The Skills, Training, and Enhancement Fund was created, in part, to provide opportunities for members to enhance their knowledge in so far as it relates to their duties and responsibilities within their respective Job Descriptions thereby improving the overall service to the District.

Details regarding this fund and how to apply can be found using the following link:

CUPE Skills, Training and Enhancement Fund

Members wishing to pursue access to these funds are required to complete an “Application Form”, there will be two intakes annually and the committee, comprised of both Union and Employer representatives, will review each application before rendering any decisions.

Your Union believes that each and everyone our members provides a valuable service to this District, and if you have found a course or conference to participate in that is going to expand your knowledge base thus improving your work performance, we would encourage you to consider applying to this fund for financial support.

Members with questions are encouraged to contact the Union Office for further assistance.

In Solidarity

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.2

Article No.21 titled SERVICE IMPROVEMENT FUND is a new piece of language to our Collective Agreement.  This came as a result of the Service Improvement Fund language located in the Provincial Framework Agreement, that saw each district receive a set amount of funds specific to their districts composition; the allocation of these funds was then to be negotiated between the parties at the local level.  During bargaining the Employer and the Union were able to agree on three ways to use these funds to enhance service to the District:

  1. Skills, Training and Enhancement Fund
  2. Clerical Hours Fund
  3. Additional EA Hours Fund

Your Union has had representatives sit on committee’s for each of these funds and work collaboratively with the Employer to develop the various “Terms of Reference” to help guide the process for creating the criteria in which these funds are to be used as well as for the access, distribution, and accountability of these monies.

While we recognize we are working on something from the ground up, and changes may need to be made from time to time, the work we have done thus far has not only been productive but promising as well.  By maintaining an open, honest, and respectful dialogue this will continue to hold all of us committed to the spirit in which this language was created.

We will provide a more detailed update on each of these funds in the days to come.

In Solidarity

CUPE 411 – New C.A. Language – Update No.1

The Collective Agreement has for sometime now had a provision under Article 8 that speaks to Performance Reviews {8.1(c)}.  As a result of negotiations there were some minor changes to this language that speak to best practice and your Union is pleased to report that we have been working collaboratively with our Employer on revising the  document that will be used as well as the timelines for implementation.

While there have been some concerns raised by members that this process will be used as a discipline tool, this was never the intent; nor should it be moving forward.  We have been assured that any serious concerns regarding a members work performance would be addressed in a different format.

Your Union is confident that the mechanism being re-implemented is one designed to provide insight, support and guidance to all members in hopes of enhancing job satisfaction, improving workplace culture and identifying professional growth opportunities within the District.

We will welcome your questions, comments or concerns once the program is up and running again.

In Solidarity

 

Spring Break Member Update

If you are a 10-Month member we hope that you are able to enjoy some much deserved R&R during the Spring Break, and for our 12-Month member we hope this gives you an opportunity to catch up on work that has been put-off due to excessive day-to-day workloads.  If time permits please take a moment to have a read of the CUPE Quarterly – March 2021.

We also have the latest K-12 Bulletin for you to peruse, K-12 Bulletin – No.57 – March 11, 2021.

Your Union was also sent the latest BC CDC – School Sector Update – March 11, 2021 and while there is useful information in this document the Union does takes issue with some of the statements made.  However, we feel that it is important to share information and permit our members to decide for themselves what the facts really are when it comes to COVID-19.

We have also received inquiry from a number of members pertaining to the availability of vaccine for support staff working in the K-12 system.  While your Union fully recognizes that school aged children do transmit this virus to adults, we are dealing with public agencies that does not believe this to be the case and as such any energy spent on advocating for this would be wasted.  We do however want to encourage members that have tested positive for COVID-19, and believe they contracted the virus from their workplace, to file the appropriate WSBC documentation in order to be financially compensated while absent from work, recovering from this virus.  I think we speak for most support staff in expressing how grateful we all are to students and their families for approaching members directly to inform them of possible exposures thus ensuring we are not then putting vulnerable family members unknowingly at risk.

In Solidarity