Earlier this week, the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the union representing Central Okanagan Public Schools support staff announced they have ratified their collective bargaining agreement.
The tentative agreement includes workers in the Community Living Services, General Services, and Indigenous Services sub-sectors and was negotiated by 10 different unions.
- Low-wage redress increases, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022;
- $0.25/hour increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022;
- 3.24 per cent increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022;
- At least a 5.5 per cent general wage increase, effective first pay period after April 1, 2023;
- At least a 2 per cent general wage increase, effective first pay period after April 1, 2024;
- Additional wage comparability increases for all classifications;
- Increase to transportation allowance, effective date of ratification;
- 100 per cent paid sick leave, effective April 1, 2024;
- Improvements to health and welfare benefits, leave provisions, health and safety, layoff and recall, bullying and harassment language.
Some highlights of the agreement that specifically are gains for Indigenous Services are:
- Wage parity for all classifications with Main Public Service collective agreement;
- Retention incentive payment for all classifications;
- Commitment to continue discussions on parity with Main Public Service agreement for recruitment and retention, compensatory recognition for cultural competency and further Indigenization of the collective agreement.
Members of CUPE Local 3523 voted 99 per cent in favour of strike action last month. Both sides agreed to seek mediation in order to reach an agreement and did so.
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