CUPE 4165 Southeast Kootenay school district membersCUPE 4165, K-12 support workers, reached a tentative agreement with the Southeast Kootenay, BC, school district (SD5) on Tuesday. Bargaining began in February and the employer and union met 12 days in total.

“We wanted to reach an agreement by the end of June and I’m glad we made that goal,” said CUPE 4165 Acting President Irene Bischler. “We worked well as a team, with our biggest focus being on what was best for members.”

Bischler noted that this round of bargaining had its ups and downs. She praised her National Servicing Representative for “his unbelievable leadership and guidance that led us through bargaining,” especially important because most of the union committee were new to bargaining.

The provincial framework agreement (PFA) approved by the K-12 Presidents’ Council in September forms part of the tentative agreement. The current K-12 agreement expires on June 30, 2019. When ratified by CUPE locals and school districts, the provincial agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

Further details of the tentative agreement will not be available until after ratification by all parties. Ratification is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

CUPE 4165 members provide a wide variety of services that support students including Education Assistants, Aboriginal Support Workers, Youth Care Workers, Custodians, Trades, Clerical, Technology Technicians, and Bus Drivers.

The Local represents approximately 375, K-12 support workers in Cranbrook, Jaffray, Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford in the southeast Kootenay region.

To find out more about CUPE members working in K-12, visit