Alison Sidow, Superintendent, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson).                                (KTW photo)

Alison Sidow, Superintendent, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). (KTW photo)

SD73 and CUPE 3500 ratify three year agreement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3500 voted 85 per cent in favour to ratify a collective agreement with School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.

The July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 agreement affects all 850 support workers at SD73, including certified education assistants, bus drivers, grounds personnel, red sealed tradespersons, custodians, clerks, and library assistants.

“Negotiations between CUPE 3500 and SD73 were carried out in a respectful manner,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). “We are very pleased the Board of Education approved the agreement allowing support staff to receive a well-deserved raise and other employment benefits within the provincial mandate.”

Negotiated under the Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate, which applies to all public sector employers with unionized employees whose collective agreements expire on or after December 31, 2018, the agreement includes a three-year term, with general wage increases of 2% in each year.

In addition, CUPE 3500 and SD73 were able to negotiate changes to the collective agreement to reflect new employment legislation, gender-neutral language, clarification of vacation entitlements, and changes to Trades Days Off language.

“We were able to agree to most of the priorities put forward by our support staff,” said Shayne Olsen, Associate Superintendent Human Resources. “There is always give and take in bargaining and we feel like we were able to arrive at some changes that will be positive for district employees, administration, and improve how students receive support from our CUPE employees.”

“I think with the local funds available from BC Public Sector Employers Association (BCPSEA) and the scope in which we were allowed to use them, we reached an agreement that will benefit all our CUPE employees,” said Corey Grabner, President of CUPE Local 3500.