B.C.’s school support staff and the government have reached a tentative five-year deal after just five days at the bargaining table.
It may have been five days, but there were a lot of long hours according to Rob Hewitt with CUPE, which represents 27,000 of the 34,000 workers covered by this agreement.
He says once the presidents’ council ratifies the deal next week, there is a bit more work to be done at the local level.
“They have to do some local bargaining because the locals also have issues, so they need to have some time for that, so it will be into the fall before this whole thing is finalized.”
The deal includes provincially funded wage increases, increased hours for education assistants, improved extended health benefits and a grant for lost wages of members who don’t cross picket lines.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender welcomed the deal.
“This is wonderful news for support workers and their families. From educational assistants who help children with special needs, to bus drivers, custodial staff and office administrators, our students would not flourish and our schools could not function without them.”