Job Action -- Educational Impact (Nov 12, 2019)

Dear Parents / Guardians,

It is important to acknowledge the significant disruption this job action is causing for everyone – our students, parents/guardians, staff and the community. Our goal continues to be finding a solution that is fair to our employees and that gets us back into our schools as quickly as possible.

The intent of this letter is to discuss the potential implications for your child’s education for the remainder of the school year. While the duration of the strike remains undetermined at this time, there is some information that I can share to help alleviate some of the concerns you may have:

  • Students will not be prevented from moving to the next grade level or graduating because of the strike;
  • Once we return from the strike our priority will be on maximizing instructional time while still honouring specific school-based events that are core to a school’s culture or operations (e.g. secondary school graduation activities, elementary track day in June);
  • As with other previous workplace disruptions (e.g. snow days, power outages, previous strikes) various accommodations will be considered to teaching and assessment plans: 
    • Focussing on core curricular objectives;
    • Minimizing or eliminating activities such as optional field trips;
    • Adjusting term dates;
    • Adjusting informal reporting including parent-teacher interviews;
    • Adjusting semester dates;
    • Adjusting report card timelines.
  • Students in Grade 12 will not lose their graduation year or any necessary credits towards post-secondary applications;
  • As post-secondary Institutions rely primarily on final marks when admitting students into programs our students will receive final marks for all of their courses;
  • Secondary schools will be distributing updates to parent communities regarding assessments, secondary school transcripts, post-secondary information sessions, and any key dates for post-secondary application deadlines;
  • Changes to the total number of instructional days, length of the school days, or altering established school breaks, will likely not occur due to contractual language obligations and parent/family time commitments.

We look forward to re-engaging with your children and providing them with the outstanding learning opportunities that Saanich Schools are known for when we return to our classrooms.

Respectfully,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

Board Annual General Meeting Rescheduled

The Board Annual General Meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, December 2, 2019, at 7:00 pm at the Board Office, 2125 Keating Cross Road.

The Employer’s Offer – What Is Being Offered at the Bargaining Table (Nov 6 2019)

The Employer has tabled an offer applying the maximum funding available within the funding approved for local bargaining consistent with all K-12 school districts across the province.  It represents an increase in wages to all support staff above the base 6% over three years.  Our staff who have the lowest wages relative to our neighbours are being offered up to 12.8% over that same time period.  Below is a plain language document that outlines the various components of the school district’s offer to CUPE 441.

You may also find answers in our up-to-date Questions and Answers post below.

The Employer’s Proposal at a Glance (Unsigned Items Only)

Key Item: Provincial Framework Agreement

What’s on the Table:

The Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA), which was agreed to by the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions (including CUPE BC), and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), includes the following:

  • General wage increases of 2%, 2%, 2% over the three-year term of the collective agreement
  • Service Improvement Allocation money, which is money for the local table, in the amount of $96,154 annually from July 1, 2020 (applied as outlined below to Educational Assistant wage increases)
  • Provincial Job Evaluation Committee, which includes provincial funding to address wages furthest below the “provincial rate”
  • Support staff recruitment and retention enhancement
  • A “me too” clause in the event of public sector general wage increases greater than 6% over the three-year term of the collective agreement

Deadline to accept and ratify the PFA is November 30, 2019

Key Item: Wage increases differentiated in relation to wage disparity

What’s on the Table:

In addition to the general wage increases included in the PFA, the employer has proposed four additional wage increases (as outlined below). The combined wage increases by position range between 7.07% and 12.80% over the life of the collective agreement, with those positions furthest from wage parity with neighbouring school districts receiving larger increases.

The impact of these wage increases by job number is reflected in Schedule A – Wages.

Key Item: Delete Article 28.07 Legislation and utilize ongoing savings toward wages for all support staff

Note: Schedule A - Wages reflects Option #1. In the event option number 2 was selected amendments to Schedule A would be required.

What’s on the Table:

Option #1 – Removal of the language will generate ongoing funding of $251,912 per year to be applied as differentiated wage increases to all positions effective January 1, 2020.

Each position will receive an increase of either 0.89% or 1.78% in addition to the 6% general wage increases under the PFA.

Option #2 – Savings of $251,912 from the 2020 calendar year will be applied as a one-time payment using the same calculation method as was used in the disbursement of MSP funding that occurred in June 2019. The one-time payment would be made effective January 1, 2020.

Removal of the language will generate ongoing funding of $251,912 per year to be applied as differentiated wage increases to all positions effective January 1, 2021.

Each position will receive an increase of either 0.89% or 1.78% in addition to the 6% general wage increases under the PFA.

Key Item: Amend Article 18.06 Rest Breaks

What’s on the Table:

The Union agrees to withdraw the estoppel notice related to pro-rated rest periods for employees listed under Appendix A and agrees to permit the Board to continue with the existing practice.

In return, the Board will apply the associated funding allocation of $139,019.00 towards wage increases in the amount of 1.24% for all Appendix A employees effective January 1, 2020.

This increase will be in addition to the 6% general wage increases under the PFA.

Key Item: Introduce Article 27.05 Wage Banding

Note: Schedule A - Wages reflects Option #2. In the event option number 1 was selected amendments to Schedule A would be required.

What’s on the Table:

Currently, each position type has a unique wage rate. Banding will move all positions within the same band to the highest rate within that band effective January 1, 2020.

Wage increases applied will be in addition to the 6% general wage increases under the PFA.

Options – There are two banding options presented in the Employer’s proposal package. The Union may select either option. 

Key Item: Labour Market Adjustment (wage increase) for Education Assistant positions utilizing the Service Improvement Allocation (local table money) under the PFA

What’s on the Table:

The local table money under the PFA (the Service Improvement Allocation money) amounts to $96,154 of annual funding commencing July 1, 2020.

This $96,154 will be utilized to provide a 1.53% wage increase on July 1, 2020 to the following EA positions:

  • EA – Specialized Education Assistant Alternative Programs (Job 47)
  • EA – Learning Services (Job 51)
  • EA – Technology Education (Job 62)
  • EA – Intervenor (Job 71)
  • EA – Interpreter (Job 72)
  • EA – Braillist/Transcriber (Job 91)
  • EA – Complex Needs Specialized Education Assistant (Job 100)
  • EA – Employment Explorations Coordinator (Job 106)

This increase will be in addition to the 6% general wage increases under the PFA. 

Key Item: Amend Article 28.04 Extended Health Benefits (EHB)

What’s on the Table:

The parties agree to make the following changes:

  • Increase the annual deductible from $25 to $50; and
  • Increase the eligibility age from “age 70 or earlier retirement” to “retirement”; and
  • Increase the maximum lifetime benefit from $500,000 per lifetime to unlimited per lifetime; and
  • Increase the dental recall period from “every 6 months” to “every 9 months.”

Key Item: Introduce Article 25.08 Bathing Suit Allowance

What’s on the Table:

Educational Assistants who are required by the Board to regularly provide support to a student in a swimming pool pursuant to the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) will receive reimbursement of up to $100.00 upon presentation of a receipt within the school year for the purchase of a bathing suit. 

Key Item: Letter of Understanding re: Recruitment and Retention and Labour-Management Committee

What’s on the Table:

The parties will establish a Recruitment and Retention Working Group that will meet following regularly scheduled labour–management meetings.

The working group will identify and review potential barriers in the recruitment process and provide recommendations to the Board for process improvements that may be related to the inability to recruit support staff.

The frequency of labour–management meetings between the parties will be increased from three times per year to six times per year for the life of the collective agreement. 

Key Item: Labour Board – Relationship Enhancement Program

What’s on the Table:

Representatives of the parties agree to jointly undertake the Relationship Enhancement Program (REP), which is a program offered through the Labour Relations Board designed to assist employers and unions in establishing and maintaining a productive and positive relationship. 

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

Back to School

Saanich Schools are ready to welcome over 7200 students into our classrooms again this year.  In Saanich, our spirit of innovation and inclusion means we continue to offer new courses, programs and learning opportunities for our students making our district a truly special place for students.

School District 63 Business Company

The Annual General Meetings for the School District 63 Business Company and its two subsidiary companies, Saanich International Student Recruiting Services Inc. and Saanich International Distributed Learning Services Inc., will be held on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 at 4:00 pm at School District 63 School Board Office, 2125 Keating Cross Road, Saanichton, B.C.