CUPE 723, K-12 support workers at School District 72 on the east coast of central Vancouver Island, ratified a collective agreement on October 19.

The local bargaining began on March 19 and a deal was reached after seven rounds of bargaining.

CUPE 723 President Andrea Craddock says the deal is just the beginning of better employment conditions for members.

“This was a challenging round of bargaining and we’d hoped to make better gains for education assistants’ hours,” said Craddock. “However, we made a start and are pleased the employer agreed to sign the request for the Job Evaluation (JE) Pilot as this will potentially bring improvements to all departments within the local.”

Craddock thanked the bargaining team for its diligence in reaching an agreement.

The agreement incorporates the provincial framework agreement approved by the K-12 Presidents Council last September. The current K-12 agreement expired on June 30, 2019.

The collective agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

CUPE 723 members, who provide a wide variety of services that support students, include instructional support staff (i.e. education assistants, Indigenous support workers), custodians, trades, maintenance, grounds, clerical, IT, administrative support, lunch-hour supervisors and child and youth care workers. They support students in Campbell River.

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