Talks break off between CUPE 441 and School District 63

SAANICH – Bargaining broke off late last night after three days of the latest round of negotiations between CUPE 441 and School District 63.

“I am disappointed that we did not reach an agreement that the bargaining committee felt they could recommend to members,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “Our efforts to be creative and move toward the employer’s position were not reciprocated and the employer would not add any additional funding.”

The local will not be discussing details of the agreement until they have provided information about the package to their members and gotten their direction at a closed CUPE 441 meeting today.

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).

Bargaining Update Friday November 1

Update on Negotiations

Your negotiating committee bargained with the employer well into the evening on Friday, November 1. We will be working throughout the weekend and will be back face-to-face soon.

We ask that all members respect the bargaining process and understand that your committee cannot release specific details, as things at the bargaining table remain fluid. Thank you in advance for your understanding and giving your bargaining committee the support to get this difficult round of bargaining completed.

The District will be notifying parents and neither party will discuss details of the negotiations.

We will advise members as soon as we have some resolution. In the meantime, unless advised otherwise, picket lines will be up again on Monday, starting at 7 a.m.

Your CUPE 441 bargaining committee thanks you for your continued support.

In solidarity,

Dean Coates
CUPE 441 President

CUPE 441 and School District 63 heading back to table today

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 will be bargaining with the School District this afternoon following an informal meeting this morning between a District representative and CUPE 441 President Dean Coates.

“Both parties recognize how difficult this strike has been for families and students in Saanich, as well as for our members and teachers,” said Coates.

A location is being determined and the parties will meet this afternoon.

“Local 441 is committed to working hard to reach a deal that meets the needs of our students and members so that we can be back in classes this Monday,” said Coates.

CUPE 441 will not be making any media comment during bargaining.

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 and have been walking the picket lines for five days.

Saanich K-12 workers strike over wage disparity

SAANICH – After two failed attempts at mediation, K-12 support staff in School District #63 walked off the job this morning. The union served 72-hour strike notice on Wednesday, October 23 but had hoped that the parties would have gone back to the table and negotiated a deal that addressed longstanding wage parity issues.

Following the bargaining committee’s rejection of the employer’s offer, CUPE 441 sought mediation to reach a deal but the two sessions were unsuccessful.

“We have let the employer know that we are available around the clock to sit down and come to a settlement,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates. “We are disappointed to be on strike, but we need to gain fairness for our members.”

The two sides remain unable to reach a settlement after seven months at the bargaining table.

“Our members go to work every day to ensure that students in our schools are safe and thrive,” said Coates. “We really appreciate the support shown to our members by the Saanich Teachers’ Association, parents and the general public.”

CUPE 441 represents almost 500 K-12 support staff including Education Assistants, Clerical, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades, and District Support workers in SD #63.

Visit the CUPE BC gallery to view photos.

CUPE K-12 Local 441 serves strike notice in Saanich

SAANICH — CUPE Local 441 served 72-hour strike notice to School District 63 today, following two unsuccessful mediation sessions in October. They will start job action on Monday, October 28 at 5:45 am.

“Our local is profoundly disappointed that we were unable to come to an agreement and we are available to meet with the employer any time, 24/7,” said Coates. “Our goal was always to reach an agreement that addresses members’ needs without disrupting students and families in Saanich.”

CUPE 441 President Dean Coates said that the local was unable to reach an agreement that addresses the longstanding concerns of their members. Workers in School District 63 (Saanich) have received substantially lower wages than their counterparts in Sooke and Victoria for decades and want comparable wages with other districts on the South Island.

The local bargained with the employer on six occasions and participated in two sessions with a mediator in an attempt to reach an agreement. A large number of members voted in August with an overwhelming majority voting to take job action if necessary.

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).