No strike vote yet

Local CUPE school support workers and the Parksville Qualicum Beach school district have a negotiation date set for later this month

More than half of the CUPE locals with members working in Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in B.C. have taken strike votes, but the local group (3570) has yet to take that step.

Local CUPE members are scheduled to negotiate with School District 69 officials on June 25. The balance of CUPE locals in B.C. have been asked by union leaders to hold strike votes before the end of June.

“For us to do a strike vote to support the provincial table by June 28 is logistically impossible,” said Lisa Paine, Local CUPE President.

Paine said local negotiations are going well, and they wouldn’t have enough time to notify all their members to hold a strike vote here by the end of the month.

“I think it would just be bad timing and in bad faith,” she said.

Provincially, talks broke down in April after CUPE and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association failed to reach an agreement under the government’s cooperative gains mandate. This mandate allows modest wage increases only if savings are found within the existing school budgets.

CUPE says its main issues concern support workers not having a wage increase since 2009 and job security, according to a provincial CUPE press release.

Job action could come as early as the fall.