June 3, 2013

School support staff layoffs ‘devastating’

NEW WESTMINSTER - Education workers and students are paying the price for ballooning deficits in Coquitlam and New Westminster. The districts have announced layoffs of CUPE support staff that the union says will severely affect the quality and even safety of education and services.

A $12.6-million deficient in Coquitlam brought the layoff of 51 CUPE employees, including those that deal with the most vulnerable students. In New West a projected $5.5 million shortfall led the board to send out layoff notices last week to 37 CUPE employees including 27 special education assistants.

May 24, 2013

K-12 CUPE presidents talk the walk

VANCOUVER - CUPE local presidents representing  27,000 K-12 workers across BC met yesterday to discuss bargaining and possible strike action.

Following the breakdown of contract talks at the provincial bargaining table, more than half the 57 CUPE K-12 locals in BC have now taken local strike votes with the rest expected to be completed by the end of June. The main issues are job security and wages. CUPE K-12 workers have been without a wage increase since 2009.

April 25, 2013

‘Zero’ progress stalls K-12 talks

VANCOUVER – Provincial K-12 bargaining talks have broken down.  CUPE reports reaching “impasse” with the BC Public School Employers’ Association yesterday. 

CUPE BC K-12 coordinator Bill Pegler called Wednesday’s meeting “very disappointing.”  After giving BCPSEA every opportunity to come up with a savings plan, says Pegler, “the CUPE BC Presidents’ Council Bargaining Subcommittee was expecting a proposal that would give the workers who keep our schools clean, safe and inclusive a settlement in line with the rest of BC’s recent public-sector contracts.”

April 19, 2013

CUPE welcomes K-12/childcare support plan

BURNABY – CUPE BC has welcomed an announcement by NDP leader Adrian Dix promising a $100-million injection of funds for K-12 support staff and teachers “to improve classroom learning conditions.”  CUPE BC president Mark Hancock called it “a good start towards addressing the chronic underfunding in K-12.”

Dix said “12 years of Liberal cuts and confrontation have left us with far too many overcrowded classrooms, hurting learning outcomes for every affected child,” adding that “we especially need to ensure that children with special needs, aboriginal students and ESL students are

April 8, 2013

Province pockets $15.6m from cash-strapped K-12

VICTORIA – The BC Ministry of Education website brags it’s “maintaining” K-12 funding for school operating grants, but fails to mention what it’s doing with $15.6 million earmarked for school boards. 

March 18, 2013

President pledges CUPE support for public education

VANCOUVER – CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill decried government attempts to privatize public education in a speech to 700 BC Teachers' Federation delegates today.

February 20, 2013

Solid Support for Respect in Langley K-12

LANGLEY—The executive of CUPE Local 1260 (Langley K-12 support staff/education workers) recently launched an idea they call their Respect Initiative.  CUPE 1260 shop steward Marnie Wilson describes the concept as “getting our members more involved in volunteering in the community and earning the respect of the public.”

October 1, 2012

UBCM Votes for Democracy in Cowichan School District

VICTORIA—The Union of BC Municipalities has voted for a democratic by-election in the Cowichan Valley.  UBCM delegates passed a resolution late Friday calling for a vote to be held to elect school trustees in the district.

The nine-member board of trustees in School District 79 was fired by the provincial government after it filed a needs based budget in May. The BC Liberals have mandated that school district budgets must be “balanced” regardless of the needs of schools or students.

September 21, 2012

Democracy suspended in School District 79

DUNCAN—While Cowichan Valley kids are back at school, their democratically-elected school trustees aren’t.  District 79 is still being overseen by an appointed trustee after the province tossed the board out for submitting a needs-based budget in May.