CUPE 441 served 72-hour strike notice to the Saanich, BC, School District 63 today, following two unsuccessful mediation sessions in October. They will start job action on Monday, October 28 at 5:45 am.
“Our local is profoundly disappointed that we were unable to come to an agreement and we are available to meet with the employer any time, 24/7,” said Coates. “Our goal was always to reach an agreement that addresses members’ needs without disrupting students and families in Saanich.”
CUPE 441 President Dean Coates said that the local was unable to reach an agreement that addresses the longstanding concerns of their members. Workers in School District 63 have received substantially lower wages than their counterparts in Sooke and Victoria for decades and want comparable wages with other districts on South Vancouver Island.
The local bargained with the employer on six occasions and participated in two sessions with a mediator in an attempt to reach an agreement. A large number of members voted in August with an overwhelming majority voting to take job action if necessary.
CUPE 441 members provide a wide variety of services that support students. Members include Education Assistants, Technical Support staff, Library Techs, Youth and Family Counsellors, Clerical, Custodial, Grounds, Maintenance, Transportation, Trades and District support staff. The local represents almost 500 K-12 support staff workers in SD63 (Saanich).