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.