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Shared Recovery Mandate ratify staff agreements

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:36 PDT, Fri March 17, 2023

More than 40,000 K-12 support staff are now covered by 69 local agreements ratified under the province’s Shared Recovery Mandate.

Unionized support staff work in a variety of positions across the province’s 60 school districts, including as education assistants, Indigenous support workers, custodians, trades and maintenance workers, clerical, accounting, and in information technology. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is the largest union representing support staff in the K-12 sector.

After the BC Public School Employers’ Association and the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions reached a tentative provincial framework agreement in September 2022, the parties all commenced local bargaining.

Key priorities of the 2022 mandate include:

  • protecting the services that people in British Columbia depend on;
  • improving health care and preparing for future needs and challenges; and
  • supporting a strong economic recovery that includes everyone in B.C.

Negotiations are focused on providing a fair and reasonable offer to public-sector workers that includes significant inflation protection while ensuring that government has the resources to continue to invest in building a stronger province for everyone.

The ratified agreement includes:

  • a three-year term: July 1, 2022, until June 30, 2025
  • general wage increases:
    • Year 1: a flat increase of $0.25 per hour, which provides a greater percentage increase for lower-paid employees, plus a wage increase of 3.24 per cent.
    • Year 2: 5.5 per cent, plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment to a maximum of 6.75 per cent. 
    • Year 3: 2 per cent, plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment to a maximum of 3 per cent. 
  • A negotiable flexibility allocation for as much as 0.25 per cent in years 1 and 2 to support mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties.
  • Other achievements in this round of negotiations at the provincial table included a commitment to participate in any Ministry of Education and Child Care discussions regarding standardized credentials for education assistants, as well as $1.05 million of ongoing annual funding in 2024 for professional learning opportunities for support staff through the Support Staff Education Committee, specifically educational opportunities to enhance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and educational opportunities to support equity, diversity, inclusion and cultural safety.

Currently, more than 294,000, or 75 per cent, of provincial public-sector employees are covered by tentative or ratified agreements reached under B.C.’s Shared Recovery Mandate.

Learn more about public sector bargaining in B.C.:

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