A Message from the Superintendent - Update on CUPE Negotiations

We wanted to take a moment to provide a further update related to the current contract negotiations underway with our CUPE 441 support staff employees. 
 
The parties met on October 3rd with the assistance of mediator Grant McArthur to discuss the employer’s current proposals. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in reaching a mediated settlement. 
 
Wage disparity is a historical issue that does not impact all positions equally. It is an issue that we can only begin to address by applying larger percentage wage increases to those positions that have fallen the furthest behind in comparison to neighbouring school districts.  To address this important priority, our three concurrent proposals reflect larger percentage wage adjustments for Education Assistants; and for educational, secretarial, and administrative positions. The proposed offer maximizes any money that could be allocated from the Provincial Framework Agreement and the Collective Agreement and applies all new funding towards wages. To be clear, this would provide wage increases for all support staff in excess of 6% over the three-year term of the Agreement.
 
While the Union has requested that the Employer revisit the proposals to find additional funding, we cannot emphasize enough that all available funding, as per the Provincial Framework Agreement and the Collective Agreement, has been allocated to the fullest extent possible in our current proposals. 
 
Further, a number of the elements currently proposed are contained within the Provincial Framework Agreement, which requires the parties to ratify by November 30, 2019. In the event the parties are unable to reach a settlement and ratify the Collective Agreement by that date, the funding associated with the Provincial Framework Agreement will no longer be available.
 
We are deeply disappointed that the Union hasn’t been more receptive to what we believe to be a fair proposal, which distributes the maximized funding allocation in a rational manner and in line with the greatest wage disparity amongst employee groups. 
 
Currently the parties have a second mediation day scheduled and as a result we do not anticipate job action at this time. We look forward to the opportunity to meet once again with the Union and mediator Grant McArthur on October 22 and hope that the Union will recognize that the Employer has proposed a renewed Collective Agreement that equitably benefits all of the district’s valued support staff.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dave Eberwein, Superintendent of Schools
School District No. 63 (Saanich)
 

Letter to Parents: CUPE Bargaining Update

Dear Parents / Guardians:

This message is an update on the contract negotiation status with our support staff union (CUPE Local 441).

We have recently met with the CUPE bargaining team to continue contract negotiations and are optimistic that both teams have agreed to seek the assistance of a mediator in our continued efforts to conclude a collective agreement. While we are disappointed that we have not yet finalized a new contract with our support staff, we are hopeful that this new step will enable that to occur.  The employers’ bargaining committee continues to work diligently to bring resolution to this dispute as quickly as possible.

There is no anticipation of any job action at this time.  We will continue to keep you informed of any relevant information that may affect our schools operating as usual. In the event job action occurs it may take a variety of forms and may not necessarily result in complete school closure. If 72-hour strike notice is served, we will inform you of any potential impact to our schools.

We thank you for your understanding as we work to conclude an agreement with CUPE and our valued support staff as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

Press Release: Saanich School district and CUPE agree to mediation

Please find the attached Press Release regarding Saanich School district and CUPE mediation

Ready, Set, Learn Open House

School District 63 is pleased to invite you to attend a "Ready, Set, Learn" Open House for parents and preschoolers (3 years and up) at Brentwood, Cordova Bay, Deep Cove, Keating, ḰELSET, Lochside, Prospect Lake and Sidney Elementary schools on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Ready, Set, Learn Poster

Letter to Parents: CUPE 441 Strike Notice

Dear Parents / Guardians:
I regret to inform you that the union representing our support staff members in Saanich School District has held a legal strike vote. The union is now in a position to serve 72-hour strike notice on the school district.

It is our sincere hope that collective bargaining will be concluded in a manner that does not result in any job action that could affect the operation of our schools. The employers’ bargaining committee continues to work diligently to bring resolution to this dispute as quickly as possible.

We will keep you informed of any relevant information that may affect our schools operating as usual. In the event job action occurs it may take a variety of forms and may not necessarily result in complete school closure. If 72-hour strike notice is served we will inform you of any impact to our
schools as soon as possible. At this time, we are anticipating that all schools will be open for the first week of classes to welcome students back following the summer break.

We thank you for your understanding as we work to conclude an agreement with CUPE and our valued support staff as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools