It’s FINALLY here…..

The New CUPE 411 Collective Agreement is now available for viewing on the Union’s website; please visit the “Resources” page for access to the electronic version.

The Local Memorandum of Agreement that was distributed to all members at the Ratification Vote immediately following bargaining identified the items that were negotiated.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will highlight these items and provide clarity to some of the language so that everyone understands the expectations moving forward.

The Local is currently looking for members who are interested in sitting on the 2022 Bargaining Committee, please check out the website post of March 8th as well as the CUPE 411 Facebook Page for details.  Members can also expect to see more details to come in the form of an email shortly.

In the meantime should you have any questions regarding any of the language in your Collective Agreement please do not hesitate to reach out to a Shop Steward for clarification or further assistance.

In Solidarity

 

COVID-19 & Self-Isolation Direction by a P.H.O.

Good Evening Members,

You would have received an email from the Union on February 21st detailing expectations should you be directed to self-isolate by a Provincial Health Officer so that your sick bank entitlements are not negatively impacted.  In addition to that information we have also received further information from our Employer in terms of process that we wanted to share with members.

Members are asked to proceed as follows:

  • The employee should connect with their supervisor and/or Human Resources immediately upon direction from Fraser Health to self-isolate;
  • If the person continues to be asymptomatic, we will review their current assignment and discuss with their supervisor the potential for remote work;
  • If remote work is not possible in that assignment, we will review any possibilities for redeployment during this time, discuss with CUPE, and offer the remote work to the employee;
  • If remote work is not possible, whether in that person’s assignment or through redeployment, the employee will be eligible for a paid general leave during the self-isolation period (on a without prejudice basis);
  • The employee should complete a leave form request online via the PowerSchool web portal, under “PHO Directed Self Isolation”;
  • If the employee refuses the temporary remote work assignment, they will not be eligible for the paid general leave and will be required to either access paid vacation/CTT time or apply for a COVID LWOP;
  • If the employee develops symptoms at any time during the self-isolation period, they must notify Human Resources and will then be placed on sick leave.

Please note: An employee calling 811, or hearing of an exposure and choosing to self-isolate is not sufficient for the above process. In addition, the leave applies only where the employee has been directly contacted by a health authority to self-isolate (usually in writing). If an employee elects to self-isolate due to a family or household member’s direction to self-isolate (but the employee has not been contacted directly by the health authority), the employee will be eligible to use any paid vacation/CTT time or apply for a COVID LWOP.

The Union was advised that this information was also published in CONNECT 33 but in case it was missed we wanted to make it easily accessible for everyone.

In Solidarity

Have you completed the survey yet??

During the 2019 Provincial Bargaining session for K-12 the parties agreed to strike a committee “Support Staff Education Committee” (SSEC) and the mandate for this group is spelled out in item No.6 of the “Provincial Framework Agreement“.

The committee is now in the process of soliciting input from the K-12 support staff in order to define priorities and interest in order to establish appropriate training opportunities.

We are encouraging all members to complete the “K-12 Support Staff Training Survey“, as the committee is also looking for feedback on the state of existing training in Districts.  Many of our members know all too well how less than adequate the training has been when it comes to addressing Health & Safety issues in our workplaces; in particular the violent attacks and verbal abuse that members are subjected to on an ongoing basis.  Perhaps this is our opportunity to really raise the alarm bells with CUPE BC & BCPSEA on how bad things really have become in School District No.33 (Chilliwack) in the last few years?

While the survey is voluntary, your individual responses are completely anonymous and we would encourage everyone to take some time out of your day to complete it, the deadline to do this is March 8, 2021.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT – COVID-19 Update RE: Self-Isolation

Good Evening Members,

There have been numerous inquiries regarding the process members need to follow if they have been advised to self-isolate by a BC Health Authority.  Therefore the Union sent an email tonight to all members advising you of your rights to financial compensation should you be required to self-isolate as a result of an exposure to COVID-19, or if you are awaiting testing results.

Members are NOT required to use time from their sick bank in order to be paid while absent from work so long as they meet the requirements that were detailed in the email.  Members may be required to work remotely wherever possible so please ensure you speak with your immediate supervisor about this possibility until such time as Fraser Health advises you are able to return to the workplace.

If the Employer insists on proof (i.e. Letter from Fraser Health) please advise your Union Rep immediately as this is not the expectation that has been communicated to the Union from the provincial level.

We advised the Employer last week that members may be requiring to self-isolate at the direction of Fraser Health and how that needs to be coded in Power School; to date we have yet to receive information on this process, but one thing is for certain, members are not to be using their “Sick” time if they are not sick.

All questions or concerns regarding this can either be directed to a Shop Steward, or to the Union office via email, unionoffice@cupe411.ca or phone 604-392-1411 (office) / 604-316-9923 (cell).

In Solidarity,

CUPE Local 411 Executive

Does every child in BC have the right to an education?

Absolutely, CUPE Local 411 believes all children are entitled to a quality public education, however, it is reasonable to assume that not every child’s educational experience is going to look the same.

A one-size fits all approach to education is not only unreasonable, it will undoubtedly create barriers to learning thus not allowing ALL children to reach their full potential.

Not only does the BC School Act speak to the educational opportunities afforded to students, it also speaks to the Duties of Students:

6   (1)A student must comply

(a)with the school rules authorized by the principal of the school or Provincial school attended by the student, and

(b)with the code of conduct and other rules and policies of the board or the Provincial school.

The above also rings true for students with Special Needs (see pg 11 of the Special Education Policy Manual)

Members that are in need of clarity regarding your sites Code of Conduct, or the Chilliwack School District’s Policies should be able to find more information under the “About” tab and “Schools” tab on the District’s websites home page.  If you should come across any language that contradicts your experiences, we would welcome your feedback; unionoffice@cupe411.ca or 604-392-1411.

In Solidarity

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

CUPE Local 411 would like to congratulate Carin Bondar on her successful bid for the position of School Trustee on Chilliwack’s Board of Education in the February 13th By-Election.

We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the other Nominees:

  • Richard Procee
  • Brian VanGarderen
  • Adam Suleman

For their desire to want to represent the staff and students of our school community.

The Union looks forward to having a new representative on the Board that will enhance the positive working relationship that we are striving for with the Trustees.

What is the role of an Education Assistant?

While the duties and responsibilities of this role can be found in the appropriate Job Descriptions, there is also another document titled “The Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers and Teacher Assistants/Education Assistants”.  This “Joint Paper” is a result of an ongoing commitment between CUPE and BCTF to establish a co-operative, and respectful working relationship for those staff who work hands on with special needs students and it is also a document that our Employer will reference when questions arise regarding expectations of these two parties in the workplace.

But nowhere in the Job Description, the Joint Paper, School District No.33 (Chilliwack) Policies, or the BC School Act, the BC Employment Standards Act, and any other piece of legislation could we find where it states that if you hold the title of an Education Assistant that you are expected to tolerate verbal abuse and violent attacks by students in the workplace.

If you or someone you work with has been told that “This is the job you signed up for” or “It’s part of your job, so deal with it” when you are reporting on workplace violence or expressing concerns over the inappropriate behaviour or conduct by a student, please contact an elected Union Representative immediately for assistance.  Your Union has never, and will never, condone this kind of mindset and if you find yourselves in a situation where prompt action is not being taken to protect yourself and/or your co-workers then we want to hear from you so that we can pursue a course of action on our members behalf.

It is also worth taking note of the role that the Ministry of Education plays within School Districts and some of the conditions that both the Ministry and the Districts are responsible for:

  • Provision of adequate resources to maintain an appropriate learning environment.
  • Availability of a suitable workspace to accommodate the learning activities of those working with students with special needs.
  • Access to appropriate information regarding the student, the Individual Education Plan (IEP), as well as techniques and strategies necessary to carry out the respective responsibilities of each in relation to students’ programs.
  • Provision of appropriate in-service on instructional and behavioural techniques and strategies.
  • Adequate release time for members of the school-based team, and adequate time within the school day for members of the student-specific support team, including the teacher and the teacher assistants, to participate as required in the process of developing, implementing, and monitoring the IEP.

By not following the above can significantly contribute to a negative health and safety culture in the workplace and as such should be addressed at your sites monthly Joint Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) meetings.  Please contact your CUPE JOHSC Rep and request that your concerns be placed on the Agenda at an upcoming meeting for both discussion and resolve.

In Solidarity

COVID-19 – Update for February 11, 2021

Good Evening Members,

The government has just released an updated document of their COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 settings.  While the Union does not support some of the statements made in this document based on our own personal experiences and exchanges with members regarding COVID-19.  There are certain criteria that we are required to adhere to while in the workplace, however, there are some things that you are NOT required to do; such as….

  • Download the COVID-19 tracker app to your personal cell phone.  Member DO NOT have to do this, by asking you to do this it is not only a violation of your personal privacy, members should never be asked or directed by their supervisor to use their personal cell phones.
  • Provide details either in writing or electronically relating to the Daily Self Assessments, any collecting of a members medical information is a violation of their privacy and should never be condoned.
  • Be forced to use your sick time or take an unpaid leave if you are required to self-isolate at the direction of a Health Authority. (more information to follow on this)

We have also received some inquiries from members regarding vaccines, and if once a member is vaccinated are they still required to adhere to all of the social distancing, and wearing of PPE.  At this point in time the answer is “Yes”.  The vaccination is simply an attempt to strengthen a persons immune system so that should they become infected with the virus their symptoms will be minimal at best, thus not requiring any emergent hospital care.

Members seeking further clarity to this document, or any other Health & Safety item, are encouraged to email their sites CUPE JOHSC Rep so that the issue(s) can be addressed at your sites next meeting.

In Solidarity