Seven hundred custodians and trades staff with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) have voted 97 per cent in favour of a new contract.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1483 president Larry Stevenson describes the new contract as a “breakthrough settlement that enhances existing workplace rights and increases protections for custodians and trades staff for the next three years” to the September 2009 contract expiry date.
The settlement includes improvements in job security and wage provisions and a new custodial staffing ratio based on facility square footage. The staff to square footage ratio is a key gain aimed at addressing both increasing custodial workload and inadequate staffing levels.
Factoring in new construction, the staffing ratio formula will mean there will be more custodians in our schools to ensure cleaner, healthier environments for students and workers.
“We are very proud that we were able to use contract negotiations in a way that benefits students directly, while helping to contain custodians’ workload,” says Stevenson.
Since the introduction of the provincial education funding formula in 1997, facility maintenance budget lines were consistently underfunded because of funding benchmarks that were set too low. With not enough facility funding, school boards cut custodial staff, explains Stevenson, who adds that, “the staffing ratio is a remedy to that specific provincial underfunding, one that will yield cleaner, better-maintained schools.”
The DPCDSB and CUPE 1483 began negotiating a new contract in November 2006. For the duration of contract talks, a provincially-appointed supervisor has had full financial control of the board.
For more information, please contact:
Larry Stevenson President, CUPE 1483 (416) 433-4322
Vickie Houston CUPE National Representative (905) 536-0711
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774