CUPE 441 members ratify agreement, ending strike

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 members voted to accept the tentative agreement at a ratification meeting on Sunday afternoon. CUPE members will be back in classrooms as schools reopen Monday morning.

The agreement includes general wage increases of two per cent in each year of the three-year contract as per the Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA).

The union and employer were able to bring CUPE 441 members to, or significantly closer to, wage parity within the region.

The Local and District will establish a recruitment and retention working group that will meet on a regular basis.

CUPE 441 President Dean Coates thanked the bargaining committee for their hard work and the community for their strong support.

“We could not have reached this agreement without the backing of this community,” said Coates. “We commit to working with the School District to build a relationship of respect moving forward.”

Coates said that members are excited to get back into classrooms and work with the students they support.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services in Saanich schools.  Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63.

View photos from the strike here.

CUPE 441 and School District 63 reach tentative agreement

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 and School District 63 have reached a tentative agreement. Members will be holding a ratification meeting on Sunday to vote on the agreement signed by both parties Saturday morning. In a show of good faith, picket lines will come down and schools will be open on Monday.

“This strike has been difficult and we are pleased to have an agreement that the bargaining committee is recommending to our membership for acceptance,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “I’d like to thank our members, parents, teachers and the community for their support throughout, and the District for their commitment to Saanich schools and students.”

CUPE 441 will not be commenting on any details of the tentative agreement until after the ratification vote is completed.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 took job action on October 28 and have been on strike for three weeks.

CUPE 441 calls on District to get back to the table

SAANICH – CUPE 441 is calling on the District to return to the bargaining table.

“I am disappointed that we did not hear back from the District after our offer to get back to the table on Thursday,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “Our bargaining team was available, ready, and able to bargain all weekend, but the District did not respond.”

The CUPE 441 bargaining committee has developed a document highlighting their concerns with the employer’s offer that is available online at 441.cupe.ca.

“Our members want to get back to classes to support our students,” said Coates. “The whole community understands the importance of wage parity and we need the employer to find a way to make this work. We need to end this strike and get students back in class.”

CUPE 441 members have been on strike since October 28. The outstanding issue remains as wage parity. Picket lines will remain up at all schools.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

Parents rally in support of striking CUPE members

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 members are being joined on the picket line this morning by parents and their children. The community group “Families Rally to Support CUPE 441” have organized the event on Facebook. They will be holding a rally and walking the picket lines with CUPE members this morning from 9 to 11 am at Brentwood Bay School and at Sidney Elementary this afternoon from 12:15 to 2:45 pm.

The group has hosted a petition on change.org that has garnered almost 1,300 signatures.

“Parents are standing with us because they want their children to get the education they deserve,” said Coates. “Until we address wage parity, our district will continue to lose people and be a training ground for EAs who then move to neighbouring districts, leaving Saanich understaffed.”

Coates has asked the employer to return to the table and address low wages for all members in the local.

Members of CUPE 441 reviewed highlights of the agreement at a membership meeting on Wednesday and gave clear direction to the bargaining committee that they wanted to continue job action until full wage parity is achieved.

CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).

CUPE 441 took job action on October 28 over the issue of wage disparity. Today marks the tenth day of their strike.