CUPE 441 members who work in K-12 have taken a strike vote in support of their bargaining committee. Voting was held on nine occasions at two locations during the month of August, concluding on August 27. A large number of members voted with an overwhelming majority voting to take job action if necessary.

CUPE 441 President Dean Coates said that workers in School District 63 have received substantially lower wages than their counterparts in Sooke and Victoria for decades, and they want comparable wages with other districts on the South Island.

“The provincial framework agreement doesn’t meet the needs of our members. The employer recently began paying managers and administrators comparable wages because they see the value in attracting and keeping qualified people,” said Coates. “We want them to also recognize and value the contribution of support staff in Saanich schools.”

The local bargained with the employer on six occasions and held a strike vote so the employer would understand how important this issue is to members.

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).