The proposed new provincial contract with school support workers will cost School District 27 almost half a million extra dollars which is not currently in the district’s budget.
“The contract is still tentative as the board of education and the IUOE have to vote on the new proposals,” says Superintendent Mark Thiessen.
During question period following the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22 Thiessen said the board and staff had looked very closely at the financial implications of the tentative new contract with the IUOE support workers and determined the cost of the contract to be about $445,000 in this district for this year.
He said the staff and trustees have discussed and developed an initial plan to make up the amount in this year’s budget and sent it to the Ministry of Education.
He said the plan will be brought forward to the board’s next public meeting in November.
Costs of the new contract are not covered by the funding protection currently provided by the ministry for School District 27, Thiessen said.
A tentative provincial K-12 support staff Framework Agreement was reached between the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association and the IUOE and Canadian Union of Public Employees Sept. 18.
The IUOE represents support workers in School District 27. Local IUOE representative Alice Tresierra said she had no comment on the situation at this time.
According to reports from the IUOE and CUPE unions representing school support workers in various communities in B.C., each support staff union local will take the provincial agreement to their respective tables with the school districts to conclude collective bargaining.
The term of the agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2012 and going forward to June 30, 2014 providing a total wage increase of 3.5 per cent.
The proposed agreement provides a one percent wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2013; two percent increase on Feb. 1, 2014 and a half a per cent increase on May 1, 2014.
There are no concessions and the contract introduces the pay direct card for up-front drug expenses for virtually all locals.