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CUPE 15 and 407 have set a good pattern with their recent agreement with the Vancouver School Board.

The locals managed to fend off the BC governments efforts to weaken contracts in the sector and have preserved their job security and benefits.

After three years of funding cuts, changes to the school year and service cuts, Terry Allen, Chair of the CUPE Sectoral Bargaining Committee (SBC), said negotiations have been very tight.

Its been a very hard go for many CUPE locals who have had to fight puppet school boards amid the provincial governments re jigging of funding, Allen said. But CUPE and the Vancouver School Board have demonstrated the strong leadership needed in negotiations during times like these.

The Vancouver School Boards trustees are mostly members of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).

Says Allen, The rest of the province-wide bargaining committees now have an example to quote in their own bargaining.

While the two sides stayed within the provinces ridiculous wage guidelines, the agreement signals that it is possible to maintaintheir job security, benefits and working conditions