Negotiations with unions representing more than 25,000 school support staff are back on, with a strike mandate already in place for B.C.’s 60 school districts as the new school year got underway.
However, Abbotsford students will not be impacted by the possible job action – at least not yet.
Abbotsford school superintendent Kevin Godden explained the negotiations taking place are with clerical staff, custodians, bus drivers and other support staff who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The Abbotsford school district’s support staff are members of the Teamsters Union.
He said discussion between the Teamsters and the district have been delayed, but will eventually occur.
“The pressing concerns that are out there about job action in the months of September and October really does not impact Abbotsford only because we are not a CUPE district.
“We are in the process of scheduling those meetings with them for later this fall,” said Godden.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender said last week he is hopeful a settlement with CUPE staff can be achieved without picket lines disrupting classes.
CUPE said staff haven’t had a raise in four years. The latest contract expired in June 2012 after a two-year wage freeze was imposed across the B.C. public service.
CUPE is seeking raises of two per cent per year.